Name : Roberto Baggio
Date of Birth : 18.02.1967 (Vicenza, Italy)
Height : 1.74m
Position : Playmaker
Nationality : Italian
Serie A Championship (2) : 1994-1995, 1995-1996
Italian Cup (1) : 1994-1995
UEFA Cup (1) : 1992-1993
FIFA World Player of the Year (1) : 1993
European Footballer of the Year (1) : 1993
World Soccer Player of the Year (1) : 1993
|1986-1996||UEFA Cup||42||17||-||0.40 GPG|
|1990-1991||Cup Winners Cup||8||9||-||1.13 GPG|
|1996-1999||European Cup||11||5||-||0.45 GPG|
Months after a controversial transfer from Fiorentina to bitter rivals Juventus lead to riots, the former golden boy of Florence announced himself on the World stage with a mesmerizing solo goal against Czechoslovakia at the 1990 World Cup.
Four years Baggio almost single-handedly dragged Italy to the World Cup final. In a cruel twist of fate an injured Baggio missed the penalty which handed the World Cup to Brazil. He fell to his knees in despair and became a tragic hero to millions of football fans World-wide.
By the time Baggio finally won his first league title, with Juventus, he had become a periphery figure due to the emergence by the new golden boy of Italian football, Alessandro Del Piero, and was sold to Milan. Baggio struggled to establish himself in a galaxy of stars and following a disastrous second season now aged 30 amid rumours of embarrassing moves the MLS and the J-League, Baggio remained in Italy and joined perennial relegation strugglers Bologna. He produced the best football of his career, scoring a high of 22 goals and fired Bologna to a remarkable 8th place finish and earned himself a place in Cesare Maldini's ill fated 1998 World Cup squad. Baggio, who was Italy's standout player during the group stages inexplicably did not feature in their last 16 match against Norway and was a late substitute against hosts France as Italy were once against beaten on spot kicks though this time he converted.
After two frustrating seasons at Inter, Baggio joined newly promoted Brescia and, as he had done at Fiorentina and Bologna, at a provincial side in which once again he was the centre of attention, excelled well into his 30s.
A classic playmaker blessed with exceptional technique and sublime dribbling skills, Baggio's performances in an Italy shirt are legendary. While others, ironically like Del Piero, were burdened by the weight of expectations, Baggio thrived on them which makes his performances at club level, in three of the strongest teams in Europe during the 1990s, all the more puzzling.
'The Divine pony-tail' will always remain one of Italy's most beloved footballers. A penalty kick short of being a legend.
Key Attributes : Flair, dribbling
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