Roma legend Francesco Totti admits he thought seriously about joining Real Madrid, and also once turned down the chance to play for AC Milan.
The 39-year-old, who announced that this season will be his last as a professional football player after spending 25-years at home-town club Roma, recently told the Players Tribune website that he had entertained the possibility of joining Real Madrid in 2004.
"There was a moment 12 years ago when I thought about leaving Roma for Real Madrid. When a very successful team, perhaps the strongest in the world, asks you to join, you start to think about what life might be like elsewhere," Totti revealed.
"I had talks with the president of Roma, and that made a difference. But in the end, the talk I had with my family reminded me what life is about."
Totti, a World Cup winner, has only once won the Serie A title, back in 2001. He could have had more league winners' medals had he chosen to join Milan right at the start of his career, but again says he has no regrets about staying loyal to his home-town club.
"When I was 13, there was a knock at our door. The men from AC Milan were asking me to join their football club – an opportunity to make it with a big Italian club. What would I choose? Well, it was not my decision, of course," he explained.
"My mamma was the boss. She still is the boss. And she was rather attached to her boys, let's say. Like any Italian mother, she was a little overprotective. She did not want me to leave home for fear that something might happen.
"Rome is my family, my friends, the people that I love. Rome is the sea, the mountains, the monuments. Rome, of course, is the Romans. Rome is the yellow and red. Rome, to me, is the world. This club, this city, has been my life," he concluded.