Roberto Baggio is considered one of the best players of all time in Italy. He has scored 218 goals in Serie A, the Italian Soccer League. He also honoured his national team, the “Squadra Azzurra” with 56 caps and 27 goals.
He’s not Maradona, he’s not Platini. He’s something different, something new, something exotic
Roby from a child was a star. His reputation could not be captured in the narrow Caldogno border of the ten thousand souls, everybody in the surrounding areas knew about the sixth of the eight children of Florindo and Matilda – about the carpenter’s son who “will overtake Gigi Riva” as his neighbours used to say.
His father was authoritarian, old-fashioned, spent all his life working, and wanted his children to study, get some education, to claim a life better than his own. He never accepted that Roberto wanted to kick a ball, as much as he could hear from friends and specialists.
Florindo wanted his son at the university and was convinced only when the little guy was awarded with Guerin d ‘Oro, the prize for best player in the category.
Then Fiorentina knocked at his door, and the rigid carpenter took the decision that his eighteen-year-old son would become a soccer player, all this back in 1985. The “viola” approached his father and explained that his child was a wonder-kid and had decided to offer himthe most expensive youth contract throughout Italy.
Baggio with the national team
The World Cup takes place in Italy, however Baggio is not in his best condition (mentally), so he didn’t play at all in the first 2 games. In the 3rd one though he did…
He scored an amazing goal and from that point on, everybody remembered him with the jersey of the national team, and not of a specific club.
The genius who would make Italy happy, was born
The Pony-Tailed Genius, continued his career in Juventus, Milan, Bologna, Inter and finally Brescia.
Amid an unprecedented emotional charge, Roberto Baggio stepped out of action, raised his gaze in the Lombardy sky and slowly, reluctantly stepped off.
The jersey outside the shorts, the socks down, the look melancholic.
It ended exactly as he started, embracing his contradictions and unconventionality, not shattering his individuality and strength, distorting his image that was always far from the trivial.
As a child he looked like a veteran, as a veteran he looked like a child, but he was always Roberto.