Monday, February 06, 2006

Francesco Totti ready to make his mark for Italy

So is Totti ready to spit in the eye of his detractors at this World Cup? According to Italian site ANSA, the answer is yes.

Totti is having a fantastic year with Roma, he has already scored more goals this season then last, and he seems to have matured a great deal since his spit take in Euro 2004. His on the pitch skill is not that surprising as he is a great player, but his maturity is something new. Totti's puts his newfound maturity down to his marriage last year to long-time girlfriend, TV starlet Ilary Blasi, and the birth of their son. "They've given me the stability I've sometimes been lacking," he said.

Still, he has yet to be tested on the biggest stage. It is one thing to be able to keep your cool and perform well in a league game, but the international events have this way of bringing the worst out in people.

What is the worst in Totti?

The midfielder has always been recognised {sic} as one of Italy's most gifted players, with rare ball skills, vision and a thunderous shot. But he has sometimes tended to 'disappear' from big matches, especially when close-marked. Some commentators have even accused him of falling around and whining when opponents pay him the dubious compliment of hacking at his heels.

The US will face Totti and his Italian mates on June 17th. If they are going to advance from their difficult group, Totti is player number one that they will need to shutdown. They need to frustrate him early and try to get him cautioned. Perhaps he has turned over a new leaf, but I think it is America's place to test that theory.


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