Roma captain Francesco Totti has revealed that he previously turned down the chance to sign for Real Madrid.
The Italian, who celebrates 20 years today since his Serie A debut, told the Gazzetta dello Sport that he was close to leaving Roma twice before, with moves to Sampdoria and then Madrid lined up.
“Had I gone to Genoa then I would never have come back to Roma,” commented the 36-year-old.
“Then, before my penultimate renewal, I had decided to join Real Madrid.
“Then my contract and some personal issues pushed me to stay here. And I have never had any regrets about that.”
The Italian has been linked with a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu on more than one occasion, during spells when compatriot Arrigo Sacchi was sporting director and then when fellow Italian Fabio Capello was in place as Coach.