Francesco Totti has been compared to Pinocchio by Cesena president Giorgio Lugaresi as the controversy over their Coppa Italia quarter-final rages on.
The Roma legend scored a penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage time as his side salvaged a 2-1 victory over their Serie B opponents on Wednesday to book a semi-final tie against city rivals Lazio.
Totti’s spot-kick was awarded after goalkeeper Federico Agliardi was ruled to have fouled Kevin Strootman in the area.
Cesena were fuming with the decision, which denied them extra-time and the chance of a historic upset at Stadio Olimpico.
And Lugaresi was then unhappy to see Totti go on to state his agreement with referee Fabio Maresca’s decision in a post-match interview.
“Last night after the game, live, Totti said the penalty against Cesena was clear!” the president wrote on Facebook.
“That is a nonsense. It was only a few seconds later that I realised the great Francesco was just trying out a new advertising spot where he plays – in this case rather well – Pinocchio!”
Totti, 40, had told Rai Sport after the game: “I thought it was an obvious foul for the penalty. Kevin Strootman anticipated the goalkeeper and was knocked down.”