Prediction Game Champ 2003 & 2005
- Jan 12, 2002
The Gazzetta Dello Sport had the inside story surrounding Totti's strange outburst on recent Balon d'or winner, Pavel Nedved.
The reason behind Totti's attack on Nedved and evident rage was that he felt 'betrayed' when he discovered that current Azzurri coach Giovanni Trapatoni and previous coach Dino Zoff both voted for the Czech Republic player instead of him. The biggest surprise to Totti was that even his current Roma coach Fabio Capello has preferred Nedved to him. The Italian press and sympathy towards Nedved also didn't go unnoticed by the Roman captain.
As for the one-to-one confrontation between Gattuso and Totti, it was due to the same reason, as the Milan player confessed that he was the biggest supporter of Nedved in the race of the award.
Totti reacted to all of this by publicly stating that Nedved didn't deserve the award and threw a bomb when he said that he would leave the Azzurri after Euro2004 because Italy didn't recognize him as a great player.
Gazzetta Dello Sport condemned Totti's comments and led an attack on the player, saying that 'What would Maldini say if a baby in your size wants to now carry Italy?' and 'You're not even worthy of an old dirty shoe thrown at your large head!'.
The Corriero dello sport also had some harsh comments for the Roma captain. 'If there was an award for worst personality we would so gladly awarded to you. Italy's history is full of honourable men who fought for the country with their blood, we know you're not one of them. Now we know were did Cassano pick up that annoying attitude'.
As for the players' comments:
Nesta: 'No Comment. Totti is a friend. But until now I don't know how many personalties are there inside Totti. Sometimes he's with things and sometimes against.'
Gattuso" 'I don't know what happened. I was just talking to him and he attacked me. Strange thing!'.
Maldini: 'A player should always be aware of what he is saying to the press. Totti is a great player and might deserve the award. But technically Nedved created alot for Juve and his national team. I can't understand Totti's madness. He needs to work from now for next year's award.'
Trap: 'If I was asked to make a choice for a 100 times, I'll pick Nedved a 100 times. There is nothing personal between me and Totti, but I'll pick Nedved over him and he has to live with it.'
Capello: 'Totti? Nedved? Ofcourse Nedved. Totti was furious with me because I made the right choice.'
Zoff: 'That's why I didn't chose him (Totti). And I'm sure no one from Italy chose him and no one will ever do that as long as this is his attitude and relationship with the other players. He's threatening to leave the Azzurri. Well, I'll personaly ask Trap to drop him permenantly because having doubts when representing your country is a betrayal and sin that should be punished. But, like a small child, he thinks that no one will oppose him.'
Totti felt the immense pressure and acknowledged that he had went too far and personally aplogized for Nedved, saying that he deserves the award and that Nedved is even the best player in the world. Totti also aplogized to the coaches and players who supported Nedved.
But, this is not the first time Totti apolgizes for unsettling comments. Will the Italians forgive him this time, especially that national pride is involved this time?