During this year annual Laureus Award Ceremony in Monaco, Francesco Totti was awarded the second of the only two Exceptional Achievement Awards ever given to recognize extraordinary sports careers. The other one was bestowed, in 2013, on American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most-decorated Olympian of all-time.

Totti, who now works for Roma as a club director, retired in May after a 25-year playing career with his boyhood and home-town club, with which he started playing when he was 16, playing with it 786 games, winning one Serie A title and two Coppa Italia titles; he also helped to guide Italy to World Cup victory in 2006. Totti, who was confirmed as the latest Laureus ambassador earlier in the day, received the accolade from the hands of soccer star Alessandro Del Piero and wheelchair fencing champion Bebe Vio. Speaking after the acceptance of the award he said: “I’m excited, I did not expect to receive this award. I’m happy for these 25 years with Rome, I tried to give my all-around contribution. I lived happy moments with Alessandro in the national team, I thank everyone for this wonderful evening. It’s the first year that I participate but I hope to help you in the future by doing important things for those less fortunate than us.“

The annual Laureus World Sports Awards showcase the work of Laureus Sport for Good, a charity which uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving that sport can change the world, and celebrate the most remarkable men and women from the world of sport along with the greatest achievements fans have admired them for throughout the year.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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