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Messi, Bolt wish Totti on birthday

Lionel Messi scores his second goal on way to leading Barcelona to a 7-0 dismantling of Celtic in their Champions League Group C match at Camp Nou. File Photo: Reuters

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt joined a long list of global sports stars in offering birthday tributes to Roma legend Francesco Totti.

Totti, who made his Roma debut in March 1993 and hit his 250th goal for the club on Sunday, celebrates his 40th birthday on Tuesday.

Amid worldwide praise, Barcelona and Argentina star Messi said in a special video: "Hi Francesco, I just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday.

"I hope you have a wonderful day. I've always admired you, and even more so on the day I met you. A big hug!"

Totti, who has spent his entire career at Roma, is in his 25th and likely last season with the 'Giallorossi' (yellow and reds).

Although reduced to mostly substitute appearances over the past two seasons, Roma's number 10 -- considered "Italy's greatest" by former teammate Antonio Cassano -- is still hitting goals and creating assists with impressive regularity.

Totti his scored six times in his last 11 league games and is currently fifth in the league's assists table despite playing only one full game in six outings this season.

Bolt met Totti last year, and on Tuesday the Jamaican posted a special birthday message for the footballer on Youtube.

"Hi Totti, this is Usain Bolt. I just want to wish you a happy birthday, from one legend to another. It was an honour when I met you," Bolt said.

"Stay up, keep staying strong. I'll be watching, alright. Peace."

Totti is one of only two players to have hit 250 goals in Serie A, although he remains 24 short of Silvio Piola's all-time Serie A record of 274.

But his loyalty to Roma means he is among a "dying breed" of footballers, according to former club-mate Sebino Nela.

"Totti is a one-club man, a dying breed in modern football and that's what makes him such an asset for the club," said Nela, who played for Roma for more than a decade between 1981 and 1992.


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