Football

Totti becomes competition's oldest scorer

PHOTO: AFP

Roma's talismanic striker Francesco Totti became the Champions League's oldest scorer when he netted in his side's 1-1 draw with Group E rivals Manchester City yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The former Italy international, who turned 38 last Saturday, raced through to chip over City goalkeeper Joe Hart from teammate Radja Nainggolan's pass in the 23rd minute, after Sergio Aguero's penalty had given the hosts the lead.

Totti takes the record from former Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs, who was aged 37 and 289 days when he scored in a 1-1 draw away to Benfica in September 2011.

"When you talk about Totti, you can only say really banal things (in comparison with what he does)," said Roma coach Rudi Garcia (above).

"I took great pleasure from his goal today. His talent is what made the difference in front of the goalkeeper. I hope it's the start of a fantastic story for Roma."

Totti said: "It really wasn't something I was thinking of when I was on the pitch.

"Records arrive thanks to the help of your teammates and what really matters is the result of the team.

"My main focus is on the team and not on myself."

Totti also thanked Man City for giving him extra motivation to score at the Etihad Stadium.

REMINDER

The striker was reminded through City's official Twitter account hours before kick-off that he had never scored in England.

The City tweet read: "We're looking forward to hosting you @OfficialASRoma, and a legendary player such as Totti. He's never scored in England, has he? #CityvRoma."

Totti had the last laugh, though, and he said: "City's tweet? It really brought me luck. It was a beautiful goal and a good performance.

"I really wanted to score as soon as possible as I had not found the back of the net this season.

"But above all, I am thrilled for my team because we have shown a lot of strength, which was not easy.

"After the group was drawn, few people gave us any hope of doing well. But we have proved that we can play against any team.

"We have shown we are strong and competitive and we fear no one." - Wire Services.