Where are they now? Roma’s XI from Francesco Totti’s debut in 1993
When Francesco Totti made his first-team debut for Roma in March 1993, nobody would have predicted that he’d spend the next 25 years at the club.
The Italian made the first of 786 appearances for Roma on March 28, 1993, when he came off the bench in a 2-0 win at Brescia.
The goals came from Claudio Caniggia and Sinisa Mihajlovic with a trademark free-kick, and we’ve revisited that day to look back at the starting XI who got to share with Totti what we now know to be a landmark day.
The goalkeeper had a pretty nomadic career, appearing for nine clubs in total, but his best spell came at Roma. Cervone won the only honour of his career, the 1991 Coppa Italia, with the club, for whom he made 235 appearances for over eight years.
Nowadays he’s the goalkeeping coach of Lebanon, which is, well, quite something.
Having started his career at Lecce, Garzya joined Roma in 1991 and spent three years at the club. The defender later went on to help Torino win promotion to Serie A before retiring in 2005.
Since then he’s taken several coaching roles within the Italy set-up, including coach of the Under-21s.
A World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and a Roma hero, Aldair spent 13 years with the Giallorossi and has since been inducted into their Hall of Fame.
After winning the Coppa Italia and Serie A title 10 years apart – the latter alongside Totti – Aldair eventually left for Genoa in 2003, and Roma retired the No.6 shirt for a decade until the arrival of Kevin Strootman.
Totti inherited the captaincy from the defender, who retired in 2010 after a spell with Murata in San Marino.
One of the senior members of the Roma team on that fateful day, Tempestilli, who also had a brief spell at Inter Milan, retired at the end of that season.
The defender remained at the club as a coach and then became the director at the Stadio Olimpico until he was dismissed in 2019.
A member of the Torino squad which reached the UEFA Cup final in 1992, Benedetti ended his first season at Roma by scoring an own goal against his former club in a ludicrous Coppa Italia final which ended 5-5 on aggregate – with Torino winning on away goals.
Benedetti has been part of the youth development system at Torino since retiring, while his son, Simone, has had a very Football Manager career of co-ownership and loan spells, including time at Inter Milan and Cagliari.
Like Benedetti, Comi is probably best associated with Torino, who he represented for seven years before a five-year spell with Roma.
Since 2001, he has held various positions back at Torino. He is currently the general manager.
His son, Gianmario, used to be on the books at AC Milan and has gone on to play for seven different clubs on loan. Extremely Italian football.
One of the most recognisable faces from that day, and one of the most memorable characters in Serie A from the past two decades, Mihajlovic is one of the few players who can legitimately claim to be able to take a better dead-ball than Totti.
Now Bologna manager for a second time, Mihaljovic admitted he fell out with Totti briefly: “I consider him my friend, whilst there was a period in which we did not speak.
“It came after he did not come to my farewell game in football. I invited him and he did not even answer me. To me, respect is important.”
The Serbian, however, does consider Totti “the greatest Italian footballer of all time”. Respect does not come much greater than that.
Bonacina spent only three seasons at Roma and is much more fondly thought of Atalanta, who he represented for 10 years either side of his spell in the capital.
In 2010 he was placed in temporary charge of Atalanta following the resignation of Antonio Conte.
Bonacina has had spells in charge of Lazio’s Under-19s, Spezia’s Under-19s and Serie D outfit Villa Valle but he’s currently out of work.
A genuine enigma. Caniggia spent only one season at Roma before being hit with a 13-month suspension for taking cocaine, and in total appeared for 11 clubs in his career, including River Plate, Boca Juniors, Benfica, Dundee and Rangers.
The winger was one of the stars of Italia 90 for Argentina, only to miss the final due to suspension, and was last seen on a football pitch in 2012, scoring for Wembley FC against Langford in the third preliminary round of the FA Cup. No, really.
There’s far too much to talk about with regards to Caniggia, but we can’t not mention one of the greatest passages of play in World Cup history.
Quite fittingly, Giannini is known as The Prince at Roma, and after 15 years at the club he was eventually succeeded by The King, Totti.
A winner of the Serie A title in 1982-83, plus three Coppa Italias, Giannini was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2013.
He has had 10 different managerial jobs since 2003 but has never spent more than two years at any of them.
The man who Totti replaced to make his Roma debut, Rizzitelli won the Coppa Italia with the club and also scored in the UEFA Cup final defeat to Inter Milan.
Sadly the striker fell on hard times after losing the vast majority of his earnings in an investment scam that saw entrepreneur Gianfranco Lande jailed. Again, extremely Italian football…