Former Juventus star Michel Platini praised AS Roma and Italy playmaker Francesco Totti as an artist of soccer, the local media reported Wednesday.
"Dear Francesco, you are an artist of soccer, a true Number 10, just like I was," Platini told the first edition of Roma fanzine Il Romanista.
Platini, who is tipped to take over as UEFA head, has been scathing in recent reported comments about Italy's World Cup win and Totti's ability.
Many newspapers picked up an alleged remark that "Totti is a great player, for one second," referring to the Roma star's trademark flicks.
In the Romanista letter, on the other hand, the France great said: "We artists may tease each other from time to time, just as (Juve great Omar) Sivori used to joke about me - and I'm sure in twenty years' time you'll come out with a quip about Roma's new No.10."
Insisting that he had been "misquoted," Platini said he "couldn't wait to come to Rome to embrace you and see a Roma game live".