Roma captain Francesco Totti has thanked Manchester City for giving him extra motivation to score on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old striker was reminded through City’s official Twitter account hours before his team’s Champions League encounter at the Etihad Stadium that he had never scored in England.
So Totti made sure to put things right when he cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s opener to earn Roma a 1-1 draw.
“City’s tweet? It really brought me luck,” Totti told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “It was a beautiful goal and a good performance.
The goal saw the former Italy international surpass Ryan Giggs to become the oldest player to score in the Champions League.
“It really wasn’t something I was thinking of when I was on the pitch,” Totti said. “Records arrive thanks to the help of your team-mates and what really matters is the result of the team.
“My main focus is on the team and not on myself.”
The outcome in England allowed Rudi Garcia’s Roma to remain unbeaten and move to second in Group E after two games. Roma are two points adrift of Bayern Munich and three points clear of City.
“After the group was drawn, few people gave us any hope of doing well,” Totti said. “But we have proved that we can play against any team.”
City supporters, meanwhile, have hit back at criticism from former United players Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand over the lack of atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
The attendance for the game was just 37,509, around 10,000 short of the ground’s current capacity, which is being increased to 54,000 over the next year and eventually to 62,000.
The atmosphere was subdued and Scholes, in his role as a pundit for ITV Sport, picked up on this, comparing the occasion unfavourably to equivalent nights at other English clubs.
He said City’s European nights did not have a “special feeling” while Ferdinand, who is now at QPR, used his Twitter feed to question why the club need to expand their stadium.
Andy Savage, who runs the website MCFCForum.com, felt these were cheap shots from wealthy footballers.
Savage said: “I took Rio Ferdinand to task on Twitter. He was taking the mickey out of the empty seats at the Etihad last night.
“He is living in his own bubble there. Some people are living hand to mouth and don’t know where the next penny is coming from, and he’s criticising them for not filling the stadium when the tickets are £35-plus.
He was an absolute disgrace on Twitter, as was Scholes on ITV. They are multi-millionaires. They don’t give the man on the street a second thought.”
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