After flying from Melbourne – Sydney then Hong Kong to London I eventually landed in Venice for the WPT.
One of my first missions? An audience with Francesco Totti, Italian football legend – a Roma hero – a man who can walk on water which is very handy when you are in Venice waiting for a water taxi.
Totti is like David Beckham in Italy, the place went off when he came in – he had an entourage bigger than P Diddy.
I wanted to talk about poker, I wanted to pass on a message from Tony G that he was the real number 10. What I really wanted to talk about was football, however.
After all, millions of pounds have been spent in the English Premiership in recent days, Fernando Torres has gone to Chelsea, Andy Carroll has gone to Liverpool. What did he think about that? What does he think about the famously tempestuous Mario Balotelli – did he think Carroll was really worth as much Barcelona’s David Villa?
Suffice to say I wasn’t making friends with the entourage – I got a few answers but no real revelations. I am chasing Totti in Venice – who do I think I am – Richard Keys and Andy Gray?
I was in Venice treading water
Roman Abramovich has a lot of money, yes – Chelsea are a good team, he knows who Andy Carroll is. I didn’t really expect much more. Francesco Totti did talk in detail about loyalty in football though which is interesting considering how many of these players kiss the badge one day and get transferred to Manchester City the next… You have to admire Totti’s loyalty to his club and commitment to his cause.
I tried to get the words Mario Balotelli out of my mouth but got pounced on by a minder. Remind me I am never going to make a top sports journalist. Do I really have to post this to embarrass myself?
Eventually the inevitable intervention came in ‘last question’ please. I was in Venice treading water… ask him something random. Therefore I asked him whether he thought that the lyrics in Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ were a good for the Roma fans. ‘Ro-ma-ma-ma-ma.’ What followed was a dumbfound look… someone please get this idiot out of here.
Anyway here is the excruciating extracts of the Totti interview. The only thing I can say is I have met a living legend. It put my annoyance at poker player diva antics in Melbourne in perspective. I bet you Totti would not insist on drinking Fiji Water only because he can tell the difference between that and Evian.
I will get my coat… Talking of getting your coat I have been winding up Dragan Galic, Totti destroyed him in the heads-up lol. Then there was Giovanni Rizzo who played Totti too and hit four 10’s against Italy’s most famous number 10.
Most importantly, this was all done for charity, something that Totti embraces and has to be admired. When you have that power and use it to do good how can you say a bad word against the man?
It is true, Francesco Totti walks on water and it is not Fiji water.