Francesco Totti scored a last minute penalty to send AS Roma to the semifinals of the Coppa Italia drawing praise from Luciano Spalletti, who compared him to boxer Muhammad Alli.
It was all squared in the 73rd minute, after Dzeko’s opener was cancelled out. Totti scored from the spot in the 96th minute to send them to the semifinals at the expense of Cesena.
Roma will now face Lazio for a chance to make it to the final in a derby. And Spalletti thanked the 40-year-old.
“When Totti plays – but it’s the same in training and even when he’s playing with his boy – he’s the Muhammad Ali of football, always looking to land that knockout blow: to swing the punch no one else can see,” Spalletti said.
“If he’s on the pitch, it’s a good idea to give him the ball. The more they get him on the ball, the more they’ll get back in return – you get more back from Totti than the bank.
“He’s the one who brought the fans back into the stadium from the car park last year.”
On a semi-final showdown with Lazio, Totti said: “We’re into the last four and hopefully we’ll make it through to the final.
We’re not thinking about the fact it’s a derby – it’s a semi-final like any other and we’ll try to give a good account of ourselves.”