Italian football legend Francesco Totti hopes to see Roger Federer playing for many more years following his return to the top of the ATP rankings earlier this week.

The Swiss maestro guaranteed his return to world number one for the first time since November 2012 with a win over Robin Haase in the quarter-finals of the 2018 Rotterdam Open and he crowned his achievement by winning his second title of the year to remain unbeaten since the season started.

The 36-year-old received plaudits from across the sporting world after he became the oldest number one in ATP history. It was a culmination of an incredible 13 months, which saw him win nine titles from the 14 he has played. It includes three Grand Slams – two Australian Opens and one Wimbledon Championship.

Federer has been playing on the professional tour for two decades, and after being written off when he was struggling for form between 2013 and 2016 he has silenced his critics with his return to the top. AS Roma legend Totti is an athlete, who can relate to the Swiss star's longevity at the top level, after playing for the Italian capital club for 23 years, well into his 40th birthday.

The former Italy international believes the Federer's passion for the game even in the twilight of his career is what has allowed him to have a long career in the sport. The 20-time men's singles Grand Slam champion has made it clear that he has no plans of hanging up his racket anytime soon, despite suggesting that he is looking forward to the day he retires.

"Congratulations Roger Federer, the world No. 1 in tennis again! An eternal champion. I hope to see you playing for many more years," Totti said, as quoted by Tennis World USA.

"The professionalism is what surprises me the most. And the passion he transmits. This is fundamental in order to have a long career," the Italian added. "When he plays I watch him on TV closely, he is a fantastic champion."

Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti hopes Roger Federer can play for many more years Getty