The Italian Football League have voted to start next season on August 26th, while the national team and players want to bring it forward to August 19th to allow them to build up match fitness for Italy's crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers against France and Spain in September and take an extra week of recovery time over Christmas.

But Totti - who is currently on a hiatus from the Italy national team after considering retirement after the 2006 World Cup win - has stepped in with a show of support for the Azzurri by threatening to quit the player's union if it does not listen to its members.

Serie A
Serie A preview
31/08/2007 AT 10:59

"I'm ready to leave the Italian Players Association," the 30-year-old declared to Dieci. "We are the main protagonists but also the people who are never listened to.

"This is the moment in which we must make our voice heard," continued the player who was subject to rumours of a rift with Donadoni.

"We wanted to start on August 19th to have an extra week's rest at Christmas and allow the national team to come into the big matches in September better prepared.

"Those who made the decision didn't care at all about Donadoni's needs."

Serie A historically always starts later than the other major European leagues, although with only 18 teams and one cup competition there are less fixtures to play over the season.

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