'The God of Football' — The legend of Francesco Totti
Updated 12:50 PM ET, Thu November 9, 2017
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(CNN)'Uscirai dal Campo ... solo per entrare nella leggenda'
The sun had set over the Colosseum as the banner was slowly unfurled: "You'll leave the field ... only to enter into legend."
Francesco Totti, an emblem of undying footballing loyalty from an era gone.
After over 750 Roma appearances and 300 goals, the boy from Porta Metronia is finally bowing out, stepping out onto the Stadio Olimpico turf for the final time against Genoa on Sunday.
Roma won 3-2, with Totti making his entrance as a second-half substitute.
The 40-year-old leaves with a legacy that cannot be reflected in shining trophies behind glass cabinets.
Here is a seventh-generation Roman who was pulling on the iconic Giallorossi shirt before many of his current teammates were even born.
A Roma youth team player at 13; Serie A's youngest ever first team captain at 22; the oldest goalscorer in the history of the Champions League at 38 years and 59 days.
A five-time Italian footballer of the year, recipient of the European Golden Shoe, and World Cup winner.
He has been described as "one of the last true Number 10s" by his compatriot, Roberto Baggio. He is simply "the God of football," according to Italy legend Sandro Mazzola.
It stands to reason Totti would have won more titles had he departed his hometown club, but he will always be remembered as "The King of Rome."
The legend of Totti in 10 chapters
March 28, 1993
The first day of the rest of his life and a dream come true. A blond 16-year-old emerges from the Roma bench against Brescia to make his debut.
September 4, 1994
Totti scores his first goal, lashing home a powerful left-footed strike against Foggia on the opening day of the Serie A season. Cue wild celebrations.
October 31, 1998
The Golden Boy becomes a man, inheriting the captain's armband at 22 following a dressing room vote.
June 10 - July 2, 2000
The Italian thrills in his first international appearance at a major international tournament, scoring against both Belgium and Romania. A "Panenka" penalty in the semifinal shootout against the Netherlands tricks Edwin van der Sar and announces Totti on the world stage. Italy fall short to France in the final -- heartbreak Totti will later avenge.
June 17, 2001
Totti scores the opening goal against Parma on the final day of the season, ripping off his shirt in jubilation, bringing the Serie A title to Roma for the first time in 18 years.
September 29, 2002
Totti scores the first of four Roma hat-tricks, putting Baggio's Brescia side to the sword in a magical display.
December 19, 2004
Roma's all-time Serie A goal record is broken, as Totti notches number 107 against Parma. Becoming more clinical as his career progresses, he will go on to score 143 more.
July 9, 2006
Champion of the world.
May 9, 2007
Totti lifts the Coppa Italia for the second successive season, capping an imperious season. He receives the European Golden Shoe award having scored 26 league goals.
January 11, 2015
Operating as a playmaker in his later years, Totti scores a brace against bitter rival Lazio, taking a selfie with the Roma fans to celebrate. No player has scored more goals in the Derby della Capitale.
"I can't tell you how much these colors meant, mean and will always mean to me," Totti wrote on his Facebook page last week.
He called himself "fortunate to have only worn one shirt," describing that undying bond to his city as "fundamental."
"I just feel that my love for football never fades," said Totti. "It's a passion, my passion. It's so deep I can't imagine not fueling it any longer. Ever."
On Sunday, Totti told the Stadio Olimpico in a prepared statement that it had not been easy to "turn out the light," admitting he was "afraid" of what the future held.
"I will no longer entertain you with my feet," said Totti, "but my heart will always be there with you."
"Now, I will go down the stairs and enter the dressing that welcomed me as a child, and that I now leave as a man."
Those emotional words prompted Daniele De Rossi, known as "capitan futuro," to shed a tear for his teammate as the Roma players formed a guard of honor to bid farewell to their longtime talisman.
"He wasn't a normal footballer," De Rossi said. "Who else plays 25 years with the same shirt? He won a Scudetto; he won so much more."
The King of Rome's playing career may be over; the legend of Totti endures.