Sometimes it seems that Francesco Totti carries the weight of Rome on his shoulders.
Such has been the veteran forward’s sparkling early season form for Roma, that Italy skipper Gigi Buffon believes the 37-year-old can still carry his country too.
Roma sit at the top of the Serie A standings with a 100% record after seven games and Totti has been outsanding.
He has scored three times and registered six assists, playing the kind of football that has made him a cult hero in Rome for a football generation.
Totti has not played for Italy since helping them to win the World Cup in 2006 and was not included in Cesare Prandelli’s squad for their upcoming qualifiers against Denmark and Armenia.
But Buffon believes that if his old friend keeps up his current swashbuckling form, nobody can deny that he would add value to the Azzurri’s World Cup cause.
"As I've already said, Totti can be considered a sort of immortal player under certain points of view," Buffon said.
"His current physical and mental conditions along with his technique and natural skills make him a player able to make the difference in any occasion and at every age.
"Thanks to his performance, Totti is proving once again that he has always been -- and he still is -- a champion, therefore it's normal that everyone talks about him in such a positive way.
"We also have to say that it's October and the World Cup is close, but it won't take place before eight or nine months. If he is still in the same condition then, no one would have any doubt."