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 Roberto Baggio

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PostSubject: Roberto Baggio   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:43 pm

Roberto Baggio
Nationality: Italian
18. Februar 1967.
174cm/69kg
Number: 10
Positions: ★ SS, AM, CF
Foot: R
Side: B
Nickname: "Il Divin Codino" ("The Divine Ponytail")


Roberto Baggio (born 18 February 1967) is a retired Italian footballer. Regularly regarded as one of the finest footballers of his generation, Baggio won both the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1993. He is the only Italian player ever to score in three World Cups. Baggio is known as Il Divin Codino (The Divine Ponytail), for the hairstyle he wore for most of his career and his Buddhist background.

Biography

Baggio was born in Caldogno, Veneto. As a youngster, he always had a keen interest in the sport of football and played for a local youth club over a period of nine years. After scoring 6 goals in one game, Baggio was persuaded by scout Antonio Mora to join Vicenza. Roberto Baggio is the 6th of 8 brothers. His younger brother, Eddy Baggio, is also a footballer who currently plays with Sangiovannese. Baggio married his girlfriend Andreina Fabbri in 1993. They have a daughter Valentine and two sons Mattia and Riccardo.

Club career

1982–1990: Vicenza and Fiorentina

Baggio began his professional career at native club Vicenza in Serie C1 during 1982. Fiorentina snapped him up in 1985, and during his years there, he rose to cult status among the team’s fans who consider him to be one of their best ever players. He made his Serie A debut on 21 September 1986 against Sampdoria and scored his first league goal on 10 May 1987 against Napoli, in a match best remembered for Napoli winning the Scudetto for the first time in their history.

1990–1995: Juventus

In 1990, Baggio was sold to Juventus, amid outcry from Fiorentina fans, in 1990 for €10 million (US$13.6 million), the world record transfer for a football player at the time. Following the transfer, there were full scale riots on the streets of Florence where fifty people were injured. Baggio replied to his fans saying: “I was compelled to accept the transfer”. In the match he played for Juventus against Fiorentina in 1990, he refused to take a penalty; and when substituted he picked up a Fiorentina Scarf thrown onto the field by fans and kissed it. He claimed: “Deep in my heart I am always purple,” The colour of Fiorentina. In 1993, he won his only European club trophy, helping Juventus to the UEFA Cup final in which he scored twice. His performances earned him both the European Footballer of the Year and the FIFA World Player of the Year titles. In 1995 Baggio won his first Scudetto with Juventus. This was the first of many league titles to come for Juventus in the 1990s.

1995–2000: Milan, Bologna, and Inter

In 1995, after strong pressure from Milan chairman Silvio Berlusconi, he was sold to the Milanese club. At this time, he had been linked with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League, but no firm offers were made from either of these clubs. He helped Milan win the Serie A title, becoming the first player to win the Scudetto in consecutive years with different teams.

In 1997, Baggio transferred to Bologna in order to resuscitate his career, and after scoring a personal best 22 goals that year. After the 1998 World Cup, Baggio signed with Internazionale. This proved to be an unfortunate move, as the then coach Marcello Lippi did not favour Baggio. This caused Baggio to lose his place in the national team. In his autobiography, Baggio later declared that Lippi had effectively dumped him after Baggio had refused to point out which of Inter’s players had expressed negative opinions about the coach. His last contribution to Inter was two goals against Parma in the playoff for the last remaining UEFA Champions League place, which Inter won 3–1. This game is considered another prime example of the great professionalism shown by Baggio throughout his career. Inter president Massimo Moratti had openly declared that Lippi would only stay on as manager if the team made it into the Champions League, but Baggio knew that because of his bad relationship with Lippi, that would also mean that he would have to leave the club himself.

2000–2004: Brescia

After two years with Inter, in order to be called up for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he transferred to previously unfashionable Brescia. At the start of 2001–02 season, he scored eight goals in the first nine games. Unfortunately, during that season, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee; despite this severe injury, he came back three games before the end of the season, making a recovery of 76 days. In the first game after his comeback, he scored two goals against his former team Fiorentina, the first of them after only two minutes from the start of the match. Then he scored again against another team he played for, Bologna.

Baggio maintained a high level of performance in the next years, playing at Brescia until his retirement in 2004. He played his last game on 16 May 2004 at the San Siro against Milan. In the 88th minute, Brescia coach Gianni De Biasi subbed Baggio off so he could get his curtain call. The 80,000 present at the San Siro gave him a standing ovation. He ended his career with 205 goals in Serie A, making him the fifth-highest scorer of all time behind Silvio Piola, Gunnar Nordahl, Giuseppe Meazza and José Altafini. His number 10 jersey was retired by Brescia. He scored his 300th career goal on 16 December 2002 in Brescia’s 3–1 home victory over Piacenza. He was the first player in over 50 years to reach this milestone, behind only Piola (364) and Meazza (338).

International career

Baggio totalled 27 goals in 56 caps for his national team, the fourth-highest of all time for Italy. He is the only Italian player ever to score in three World Cups with a total of 9 career World Cup goals, which puts him even with Christian Vieri and Paolo Rossi as Italy’s top World Cup scorers. For all his talent he was never rewarded with a victory in an international competition. He infamously missed the deciding penalty in the final of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, which contributed to Italy losing the trophy to Brazil.

1990 FIFA World Cup

Baggio’s first World Cup was the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and although he was used most often as a substitute in the tournament, he was still able to display his quality, scoring twice including the “goal of the tournament” against Czechoslovakia. Baggio is also much remembered for his class; although regularly designated the penalty taker for his team, he stepped aside when Italy was awarded one in the third place match against England, allowing teammate Salvatore Schillaci to score and capture the Golden Shoe.

1994 FIFA World Cup

Baggio was the cornerstone of the Italy team during the 1994 FIFA World Cup, leading them to the final after a disappointing start. He scored five goals, all in the knockout phase, and he started every match from the beginning: two in the round of 16 to beat Nigeria (scoring with 2 minutes left of the game sending it into extra time, and then another goal in extra time), one in the quarter-finals to top Spain (the game winner with 3 minutes remaining) and two to beat Bulgaria in the semi-finals. Baggio was not fully fit for the final against Brazil, which ended 0–0 after extra time; he took Italy’s last penalty in the resulting shoot-out, but his kick went over the cross-bar and the Brazilians won the title. Two other Italians, Franco Baresi and Daniele Massaro, had already missed penalties.

Baggio finished tied for second in the tournament in goals scored and was named one of the top three players.

1998 FIFA World Cup

In Italy’s opening match of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Italy played Chile. Italy’s first goal was scored by Christian Vieri on an assist by Baggio. Towards the end of the game a Baggio cross touched Chilean defender Ronald Fuentes’ hand, resulting in a penalty scored by Baggio which made the score 2–2. With this goal, he became the first Italian player to score in three World Cups.

Baggio scored two goals in the tournament; he also scored the winning goal against Austria as Italy topped their group.

In the quarter-final match against France, Baggio came on as a substitute in the second half. The score remained 0–0 and the match went to a penalty shootout won by the host nation. Italy’s coach, Cesare Maldini has since been severely criticised for starting Del Piero ahead of Baggio, who was in the better form, for the quarter-final match against France. Cesare Maldini later apologized to Baggio for not giving him the playing time he deserved.

Later career

Baggio was not called up for Dino Zoff’s squad in Euro 2000 and also 2002 FIFA World Cup as Italy’s coach Giovanni Trapattoni considered him not fully recovered from injury. Fans and pundits criticised the omission of Baggio, as Italy were eliminated by South Korea in the Round of 16. Baggio had made a direct appeal to Trapattoni prior to the tournament by writing a letter to the then Azzurri coach. In the letter, he spoke of his love for the national team, the sacrifices he had made in recent months, and his desire to participate in the tournament. “Two years ago I decided to stay in Italy, choosing Brescia and Mazzone, to try and win a jersey for the World Cup.” Despite Baggio’s plea, he was ultimately left out of Suky Bains squad.

After retirement

Baggio was given an international send-off match on 28 April 2004 against Spain. He was invited to play for the European XI at the Football for Hope Indian Ocean tsunami relief benefit on 15 February 2005 at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, but he declined the invitation.

Baggio wrote an autobiography titled Una porta nel cielo (“A Goal in the Sky”, but also “A Gate in the Sky”), including details about his rifts with managers.

On 16 October 2002, Roberto Baggio was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

On his 40th birthday (18 February 2007), Baggio started his new website to converse with his fans. As per his website he does not intend to return to mainstream football, but rather exchange words with his fans on his blogs.

In March 2008 Baggio—who has owned a ranch property in Argentina for many years—gave a lengthy interview with Gazzetta Dello Sport. In it he discussed many topics, including the team he now supports: Boca Juniors. “How did I become a fan of Boca? It’s an interesting story. A rainy Sunday, I was at my house with a friend of mine and I saw a game on TV. The score was 4–0, and was played at the Boca stadium, La Bombonera. At one point they scanned across the crowd at their fans: they danced, they sang, they twirled flags and banners. A contagious joy. I said to my friend, ‘It’s beautiful to do this when their team is winning.’ And he turned to me and said: ‘Roberto, are you watching? Boca are losing 0–4! …’ From that moment Boca has become my team. That stadium gives me incredible feelings.”

On 8 October 2008 Baggio appeared in a charity match between Milan and Fiorentina for Stefano Borgonovo, with whom Baggio played at Fiorentina during the late 1980s.

August 2010 marked Roberto Baggio’s comeback into Italian football, as he was appointed as president of the technical sector of the Italian Football Federation, replacing Azeglio Vicini.

On November 2010, Baggio was awarded the World Peace Award, an annual award bestowed by Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

Religion

Baggio, formerly a Roman Catholic, practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the Soka Gakkai International Buddhist organization.

Records

Baggio played in 16 World Cup matches for Italy. Ireland is the only team against which Baggio played more than once in his 16 games of FIFA World Cup play. He is the highest Italian goalscorer of all-time in the World Cup, with 9 goals from 16 appearances (along with Rossi and Vieri). But Baggio is the only Italian to have scored in three World Cups. Baggio has scored 87 percent of his penalties in Serie A and International football, scoring 106 out of 122 penalties, more than any other player in Italian football history.

When Baggio was in the national team, Italy always left the World Cup at penalties: in 1990 against Argentina, in 1994 against Brazil, and in 1998 against France. Therefore, in the 16 world cup matches he played, Italy lost only one, which was Italy’s opening game of USA 94 against Ireland.
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PostSubject: Re: Roberto Baggio   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:44 pm

1988–2004 Italy 56 (27)

1982–1985 Vicenza 36 (13)
1985–1990 Fiorentina 94 (39)
1990–1995 Juventus 141 (78)
1995–1997 Milan 51 (12)
1997–1998 Bologna 30 (22)
1998–2000 Internazionale 41 (9)
2000–2004 Brescia 95 (45)


Club honors

Vicenza

Serie C1: 1984–85

Juventus

Serie A: 1994–95
Coppa Italia: 1994–95
UEFA Cup: 1993

Milan

Serie A: 1995–96

International honours

Italy National Football Team

FIFA World Cup: (runner-up): 1994
FIFA World Cup: (3rd place): 1990

Individual honours

U-23 European Footballer of the Year: 1990
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup top scorer: 1990–91
European Footballer of the Year (Ballon d’Or/Golden Ball): 1993
FIFA World Player of the Year: 1993
Platinum Football award by TV Sorrisi and Canzoni: 1992
Onze D’Or by French Magazine ‘Onze Mondial’: 1993
FIFA World Cup Silver Ball: 1994
FIFA World Cup Silver Shoe: 1994
FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1994
Bravo award with Fiorentina: 1990
Golden Guerin with Vicenza: 1985
Golden Guerin with AC Milan: 1996
Golden Guerin with Brescia: 2001
Guerin d’Oro: 2001
Azzuri Team of The Century: 2000
FIFA Dream Team of All-Time: 2002
‘Most Loved Player’ Award via Internet Polls: 2001
‘Most Loved Player’ Award at the Italian Oscars: 2002
FIFA 100: 2004
World Soccer Awards 100 Greatest Players of the 20th Century #16
Giuseppe Prisco award: 2004
The Champions Promenade – Golden Foot 2003
Guerin’s Sportivo 150 Grandi del Secolo
Placar’s 100 Craques do Seculo
Planète Foot’s 50 Meilleurs Joueurs du Monde
Italy All-time XI by Football Italia
Juventus All-time XI by Football Italia
Brescia All-time XI by Football Italia

Selected statistics

318 goals in all competitions
76 goals from 91 penalties (best all time record in Italy)
32 goals in European competitions
9 goals in World Cup finals (Italia 90, USA 94, France 98)
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PostSubject: Re: Roberto Baggio   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:44 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Roberto Baggio   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:45 pm

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