Roberto Baggio is one of the tragical figures in football. He was an astute forward with immense abilities. He was fearsome forward in world football during 90’s.he won both the FIFA world player of the year as well as European footballer of the year in 1993.He was once the world’s expensive football player and that shows how talented he was. Baggio had cult fan following across the world. His ponytail was best feature that will come to mind when one think about Baggio.
Roberto Baggio was born on 18th February 1967 at Caldogno in Italy. At an age of 14, in 1982 he started his football journey with Vicenza .At that time they were in Serie C1. He scored 13 goals for Vicenza. Baggio moved to Fiorentina in 1985.In 1986, while playing against Sampadoria he made his debut for Fiorentina in Serie A. His first goal was against Maradona’s scudetto winning Napoli on 1oth may in the year 1987.During his stint with Fiorentina he score 39 goals. He became so popular among Fiorentina fans. He was instrumental in Fiorentina’s UEFA cup run in 1989.They reached the final and lost to their Italian opponent Juventus. He scored 17 goals in Serie A that season. His progress with Fiorentina caught attention of Juventus. In 1990 Juventus paid, then world record fee of $ 17 million for acquiring the services of Baggio. Fiorentina’s decision to sell Baggio evoked sharp reactions from their fans.
He had good goals per match ratio while playing for Juventus considering the fact that he played in most technically defensive league in the world. Baggio’s first success with Juventus was winning UEFA cup in 1993.His performances in 1993 earned him European as well as FIFA accolades. He scored six vital goals in that European campaign, while he scored 21 goals in Serie A that season. In 1995, he won his first scudetto, with Juventus. Juventus won Italian cup also that year. Baggio had an injury-hit season, which effectively reduced his playing time in that season. However, Del Piero’s emergence made the Juventus management to sideline Baggio with a reduced wage deal Baggio scored 80 goals for Juventus. Baggio captained Juventus in many matches.
When an offer came from AC Milan’s owner Berlusconi, Baggio did not think twice, he moved to Milan. He had miserable time in Milan, as he never was able to get into coach Capello’s plan. Though he won scudetto in 1996 with AC Milan, he did not have much role in it. Even though when coach moved on, arrival of his rival striker Sacchi did not help his cause. He scored only 12 goals for Milan in 51 matches. To reignite his faltering career, Baggio moved to Bologna in 1997.He struck form with Bologna as he scored 22 goals in just 30 matches for them in that season. In 1998 when Italian giants inter Milan came for him, he moved on again. However, like at AC Milan, he did not do well with Internazionale. He scored only nine goals in 41 matches for Inter Milan. His sliding form cost his place in national team. In 2001, he moved to Brescia in order to force back into Italian team for 2002 world cup. He started his Brescia career by striking eight goals in just nine games. However, injury forced him out of action for many matches. Even though he came back and scored well after recovering from injury, he was not able to get into 2002 world cup squad. He scored 45 goals for Brescia in 95 matches showing that he was good enough. He retired from football in 2004. Brescia retired their jersey number 10 to show their respect to Baggio. He scored over 300 goals in his career.
Baggio played in three world cups. He played bit part role in 1990 world cup. He scored two goals in that world cup. He scored the goal of the 1990 world cup against Czechoslovakia. In 1994 world cup, Baggio became a villain from heroin pre quarter final he scored two goals against Nigeria to help Italy to reach quarterfinals. In the win against Spain in the quarterfinal, he scored one goal. He was influential in the semi-finals for Italy with two goals as they went past Bulgaria to enter final. World will not forget the tearful Baggio after missing the penalty against Brazil in final, which effectively handed them the world cup. He scored five goals in that world cup. In 1998 world cup, again he had bit part role as coach-favoured Del Piero. He scored two goals in that world cup. In quarterfinal match against France, he came as substitute. Though he scored in the penalty shootout this time, Italy was unlucky to exit from the tournament. Baggio scored in three world cups, which is a feat in itself. He scored 27 goals for Italy in 56 matches. He did not get the chance to feature in 2002 world cup. Baggio was one of the most fashionable football team players in the world.