Roberto Baggio

From Academic Kids

Roberto Baggio (born February 18, 1967, in Caldogno, Italy) is an Italian football player, considered to be among the best forwards in the world throughout the 1990s. In 1993, he was named both European Footballer of the Year and World Player of the Year.

Baggio started his career with Vicenza in Serie C1 in 1981. Fiorentina snapped him up in 1985, and during his years there, he rose to cult status among the team's fans. He was sold to Juventus amid large fan outcry in 1990 for $19 million, the world record transfer for a football player at the time. That year, he played in his first World Cup. In 1993, he got his lone European club hardware, helping Juventus to the UEFA Cup.

Roberto was the cornerstone of the Italian team during the 1994 World Cup, leading them to the final. He scored five goals, all in the medal round: two in the Round of 16 to beat Nigeria, a late winner in the quarterfinals to top Spain, and two to beat Bulgaria on the semifinals. Unfortunately, Baggio was not fully fit against for the final against Brazil, and missed Italy's last penalty (Brazil still had a kick left) as the South Americans won the World Cup title after a 0-0 tie. However it is often overlooked that two other Italians, Franco Baresi and Daniele Massaro, had already missed penalties and had Baggio scored, Brazil would have still had a penalty to win the Cup nevertheless.

He won his first scudetto with Juventus in 1995, who promptly sold him to A.C. Milan, where he won his second scudetto a year later. In 1997, thought to be on the downslide, Baggio transferred to Bologna, and after scoring a personal best 22 goals that year, was named to Italy's squad for the 1998 World Cup. He scored two goals and added one in the penalty shootout as Italy went out to eventual champions France.

After the World Cup, Baggio signed with Internazionale but this proved to be an unfortunate move, as the then coach Marcelo Lippi did not favour 'Codino Divino' and hardly played him. This helped him to lose him his place in the Italian National team. After two years there, he transferred to previously unfashionable Brescia, playing there until his retirement in 2004. He finished his career with 203 goals in Serie A, and 56 caps and 27 goals for the National Team. He was given a sendoff match on April 28, 2004 against Spain. Baggio played one last match, the Football for Hope tsunami relief match at the Nou Camp in Barcelona, on February 15, 2005.

Baggio is known as Divine Ponytail, for the hairstyle he kept for most of his career. He is a devout Buddhist, a rarity for an Italian.

Clubs

  • Vicenza (1981 - 1985) (played in 36 matches and scored 13 goals)
  • Fiorentina (1985 - 1990) (94 matches, 39 goals)
  • Juventus (1990 - 1995) (141 matches, 78 goals)
  • A.C. Milan (1995 - 1997) (51 matches, 12 goals)
  • Bologna (1997 - 1998) (30 matches, 22 goals)
  • Internazionale (1998 - 2000) (41 matches, 9 goals)
  • Brescia (2000 - 2004) (95 matches, 43 goals)

Honours

  • Serie A champion: 1995, 1996
  • Italian cup: 1995
  • UEFA Cup: 1993
  • European Footballer of the Year: 1993
  • FIFA World Player of the Year: 1993

External Links

Roberto Baggio (http://www.baggio.vicenza.com)


Preceded by:
Marco van Basten
European Footballer of the Year
1993
Succeeded by:
Hristo Stoichkov
Preceded by:
Marco van Basten
FIFA World Player of the Year
1993
Succeeded by:
Romario

Template:End boxde:Roberto Baggio es:Roberto Baggio fr:Roberto Baggio it:Roberto Baggio he:רוברטו באג'יו ja:ロベルト・バッジョ sv:Roberto Baggio zh:罗伯特巴乔

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