- Real Madrid president Florentino Perez made an approach for Totti back in 2006
- He rejected Madrid and remained at Roma until retiring at the end of last season
- Totti is now a club director with Roma – who play host to Barcelona on Tuesday
- Madrid host Juventus in their Champions League quarter-final second leg clash
Robert Cottingham For Mailonline
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez made an approach for Francesco Totti before the 2006-07 season but was turned down by the Roma icon.
Totti remained at Roma for the entirety of his career, retiring at the end of last season after 25 seasons in the Italian capital during which he became a club icon.
And Perez revealed that he attempted to prise Totti away from Roma, only for the striker to choose to remain out of loyalty to his club.
Francesco Totti was targeted by Real Madrid before the start of the 2006-07 campaign
‘Totti is one of the legends that everyone wanted,’ Perez told Gazzetta dello Sport. ‘Before 2006, at the beginning of my presidency, I phoned him and asked him to come, but he told me couldn’t move from Roma.’
The 2006 World Cup winner has spoken of how close he came to moving to Madrid in the past and admitting his regret that he never played for the Spanish giants.
‘I never thought about money, otherwise I would have left aged 26 when Madrid and Barcelona wanted me,’ Totti told Sky Sports back in 2012.
But after receiving a standing ovation from Madrid supporters during their clash in the Champions League in 2016, Totti conceded that he would have loved to play in the famous white shirt of Los Blancos.
Madrid president Florentino Perez revealed he called the Roma icon but was turned down
Totti watched on as Roma were beaten 4-1 by Barcelona in the first leg of their quarter-final tie
‘The Santiago Bernabeu is an amazing stadium. Real Madrid are my only regret,’ Totti told Mediaset. ‘It was very emotional to get such a warm welcome. This is a great memory for me.’
Totti is now a club director with Roma and watched on as his side were beaten 4-1 by Barcelona in last week’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Roma host the Catalans on Tuesday evening with a mountain to climb if they are to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time.
Madrid meanwhile take on Juventus in their respective return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu looking to defend a three-goal advantage from the first match.