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Juventus skipper Del Piero tribute to Roma rival Totti

Juventus captain Alessandro del Piero says he has great respect for Roma counterpart Francesco Totti.

Juve face Roma this weekend in a huge game for their top four hopes.

"Since becoming captain I have many times gone through the 'protocol' of what happens just before a game kicks off," wrote Del Piero on his official website.

"The salute to the referee, the exchange of gifts and handshake with the opposition captain. These gestures become automatic, repetitive and with the mind already focused on the game ahead.

"If I stop and think about those moments, I realise they aren't banal at all. Especially ahead of a match like this, when the captain on the other side is a player like Francesco Totti.

"If we add together all our goals, between us we have scored over 500. If we add up how long we have played for our clubs, then it's 35 years. A lifetime.

"The same was true of my meetings with Paolo Maldini. I think the concept of a player being a symbol of a club cannot exist if you don't earn it every day both on the field and off.

"This is why it is such an honour for me to face players like this."

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Tribal Football Staff

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