Gabriel Batistuta was the top goal scorer for the Argentina national team until 2016 when Lionel Messi managed to beat his record. As one of the best forwards of the 1990s and early 2000s, in this article, we will take a look at Batistuta’s biography.
Gabriel Batistuta, born in Avellaneda on 1 February 1969 is an Argentinian football coach and former footballer, who played as a striker. Nicknamed Batigol, during his career he was considered among the strongest strikers in the world.
He has been included in the FIFA 100, FIFA's centenary list of the 125 best living players, and is ranked 23rd in World Soccer's special 20th-century footballers' list.
He was raised in the youth ranks of Newell's Old Boys, but also played for River Plate and Boca Juniors, winning theArgentine league
title in 1991. After arriving in Italy, he wore the Fiorentina jersey for nine years, where he was captain and won theCoppa Italia
and theItalian Super Cup
in 1996. He moved to Roma, where he won a Scudetto and an Italian Super Cup in 2001 and then moved to Inter Milan. In 2005 he finished his career in Qatar with Al-Arabi. After retirement, he was part of the technical staff of the Argentina national team and served as a technical assistant at Colón (SF).
With 54 goals he is the second-highest scorer in the history of the Albiceleste, while with 152 goals he is Fiorentina's top scorer in Serie A. Moreover, with 184 goals, he is 12th in theSerie A
top scorers' list. In the 1994-95 season, he scored on 11 consecutive league matches, breaking a record previously set by Ezio Pascutti. In July 2015 he was inducted into Roma's hall of fame.
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When his club Fiorentina were relegated to Serie B in the 1992-1993 season, Batistuta remained at the club and helped them return to the Serie A a year later. Over the years he became the most popular sports figure in Florence, with Fiorentina fans building a bronze statue of him in 1996 in recognition of his performances for the club.
Now that we know Gabriel Batistuta a little more, it is time to share some general information about him in this section of Gabriel Batistuta biography, so stay tuned!
Gabriel Batistuta Bio
Full Name: Gabriel Omar Batistuta
Profession: Professional Footballer
Gabriel Batistuta Physical Stats
Weight: 73 Kg
Height: 1.88 m
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Light Brown
Gabriel Batistuta Football Information
Jersey Number: 9
Professional Debut: 1988
Gabriel Batistuta Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 1 February 1969
Birth Place: Avellaneda, Santa Fe, Argentina
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
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Gabriel Batistuta biography
Gabriel Batistuta life story
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Born in Avellaneda and not in Reconquista, as incorrectly reported by several sources, to Osmar Batistuta, a butcher, and his mother Gloria, a school secretary, he lived there until the age of six and then moved to Reconquista, at 1024 Pueyrredón Street. Gabriel Omar Batistuta grew up particularly close to his paternal grandfather Melchior, who was the main architect of the family's success, which vanished due to an economic crisis and was later rebuilt by the work of Gabriel's father, Osmar.
Gabriel Batistuta childhood
, he received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation in the church of San Roque, and attended school, with good marks. He then came into contact with football for the first time, playing it occasionally, but without initially showing any great passion.
Then the first of his younger sisters, Elisa, was born, followed by Alejandra and Gabriela, and with all three Batistuta established a strong bond. After seven years of primary schools, he chose to attend Enet, a technical school but did not complete his studies (missing the final exam), partly because of his growing interest in football.
From the age of ten to fourteen he played volleyball and basketball, but at sixteen, having received a poster of Diego Maradona as a gift from his friend Pitti Lorenzini, Batistuta started playing football. At seventeen, on 26 September 1986, he met Irina Fernández during her 15th birthday, to whom he became engaged eight months later, in May 1987.
As already mentioned, Batistuta started football at the age of sixteen: slightly overweight, and because of that he was given the nickname gordo (fat), while because of his blond hair (an uncommon hair colour in Argentina) he was called gringo. In high school, he had his first opportunities to play football. Before he played volleyball and basketball, the sports that Batistuta had been most interested in, in order to take part in the Intercollegials, a tournament involving local schools, he had to join the football team.
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As a child, Batistuta preferred other sports over football. He tried basketball, facilitated by his height, but the event that marked his life was the victory of the Argentinian national team at the 1978 World Cup: the achievements of the Albiceleste players excited him and he started to dedicate himself to football. After some time of kicking around with friends in the streets and then an experience in the small club Grupo Alegria, he joined the youth team of Platense.
It was during this period that he won the provincial championship with a selection from Reconquista, beating the youth team ofNewell's Old Boys
from Rosario. His 2 goals attracted the attention of the rival team, who signed him in 1988.
At Newell's Old Boys, the 19-year-old Batistuta met coach Marcelo Bielsa, who would later coach him in the Argentina team. The player's first professional season presented some difficulties: far from home, his family, his girlfriend Irina and forced to sleep in a room at the local stadium, he also had to deal with overweight problems that often kept him away from the field.
At the end of the season, he was loaned out to a minor team, Deportivo Italiano of Buenos Aires and took part in the Viareggio Tournament in Italy, becoming the top scorer of the event with 3 goals. With Newell's Old Boys he played the only Copa Libertadores final of his career, in 1988 against Nacional (Uruguay).
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Gabriel Batistuta biography
and his playing career.
After his time at Deportivo, he was signed by River Plate, where he scored 17 goals. However, things didn't go well, especially with coach Daniel Passarella, who put him out of the team halfway through the season. This led to the player's sale and he signed for Boca Juniors in 1990.
In the first season he was out of shape, then in 1991, with the arrival of Oscar Tabarez as coach of the team,Boca Juniors
won the Torneo Clausura championship and Batistuta finished with 13 goals. In the Copa Libertadores, he scored a double againstRiver Plate
on March 20, 1991, two goals against Corinthians and two more against Flamengo; however, they were eliminated in the semifinals by Nacional Montevideo.
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took him to Serie A, where he scored his first league goal against Genoa on matchday 2 and his first Serie A hat-trick against Fozzia on matchday 20. In the 1991-92 season, he finished his first season in Serie A with 13 goals in 27 appearances.
In the 1992-93 season, Fiorentina struggled and was relegated to Serie B after nine consecutive matches without a goal. Batistuta was also linked with a move away, but he stayed with the team.
In the 1994-95 season, he set a new Serie A record by scoring in 11 consecutive games, from the first game against Cagliari to the 27th of November against Sampdoria (the previous record was set by Enzo Pascutti, who scored in 10 consecutive games). Together with Manuel Rui Costa, he became Serie A's top scorer with 26 goals, the second Argentinian to do so since Diego Maradona.
In the 1995-96 season, both the team and the players continued to perform well, and at one stage the team was fighting for the second place in the Serie A standings. They eventually finished fourth in the league. They also won the Coppa Italia that season. In the 1997-98 season, he scored a hat-trick in the opening match againstUdinese Calcio
In the first half of the 1998-99 season, he scored 17 goals in 17 games, including a hat-trick againstAC Milan
on matchday 3 and another against Cagliari on matchday 17. In the second half of the season, he was leading the race for top scorer, but a left foot injury at the last match of the league season meant that he was overtaken by Udinese's Marcio Amoroso, who scored on the last day of the season.
In the 1999-00 season, he made his presence felt in the Champions League, scoring both home and away goals against Manchester United in the group stage, and scoring a powerful goal against Arsenal on 27 October to defeat them. He scored a hat-trick in the third and final Serie A game against Eras Verona and Vicenza Calcio.
Batistuta signed for Roma in 2000 and, despite a number of injuries, scored 20 goals for his new club. He was his team's best goal-scorer and the fourth-best in the league, helping his side to their first league title since 1983 and the third ever in Roma's history. Shortly afterwards, he also won the Italian Super Cup for the second time in his career. Due to a lack of form in the 2002/03 season, the Roma management decided to loan the attacker to league rivalsInter Milan
for the second half of the season.
He was loaned out to Inter on January 2003. It was not a reluctant sale forRoma
president Sensi, who a few months later would refer to the Argentinian striker as a 'rip-off' handed to Inter. Batistuta stayed at Inter until the end of the season, making 12 appearances and scoring 2 goals against Piacenza and Como: the latter goal was the player's 200th in the Italian League. Batistuta, who agreed to move to Inter partly because of Massimo Moratti's influence, later expressed his regret for not being able to make a more substantial contribution to the Nerazzurri's cause.
The global trend in recent years has been for international stars to go to Qatar to play for a big salary. However, they do not always give their best in every game, often not playing to their full potential. But Batistuta has played his cards fairly, scoring 30 goals in 22 games. In 2005, Batistuta decided to end his career. Gabriel Batistuta, however, will always be remembered as a great forward, who could send the crowd into ecstasy, causing commentators to jump out of their seats and cry out: "GO-O-OAL! GABRIEL BA-TIS-TU-TA!!!"
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Gabriel Batistuta nationality
is Argentinian and he represented his country at international level. Batistuta made his first international appearance on 27 June 1991 againstBrazil
and enjoyed a successful career with Argentina, winning back-to-back Copa America titles in 1991 and 1993 under Coco Basile. The team looked good (Claudio Caniggia, Diego Simeone, Oscar Ruggeri, Sergio Goycoechea and Fernando Redondo) and Maradona's return to form raised the bar for even the wildest of hopes.
The first round of the 1994 World Cup was a real feast with Batistuta scoring 4 goals, but the doping suspension of Maradona left the team without spirit, and unable to overcome the Romanian team in the round of 16.
The 1998 World Cup in France was another disappointment for him,Argentina
lost to theNetherlands
and their leader Bergkamp in the quarter-finals. Batigol was nevertheless second top scorer of the World Cup with 5 goals behind Davor Suker.
The 2002 World Cup in Asia was a disappointment, Argentina, one of the favorites, couldn't get past the group stage. However, Batistuta took advantage of this to enter the closed circle of players who had scored ten goals in the World Cup finals. After the 2002 World Cup, Batistuta announced his retirement from international career.
A striker with a strong sense of goal, a quality that allowed him to break several records in this respect, Batistuta always stood out for the range of his skills: although he didn't possess a very refined technique, he was adept with his head, his feet, his free-kicks and his passing moves. He approached football relatively late, which partly explains his lack of flair in touching the ball.
However, the athletic skills acquired in his youth by playing other sports found a natural outlet in the footballer, who further refined them during his time with Oscar Tabarez's Boca Juniors; the latter also had the intuition to change the player's role from winger to centre forward.
His shooting was usually carried out with power - his personal record for the speed of a ball is 106 km/h. He made his shots preferably with his right foot, directing the ball to the opposite corner of the opponent's goal; over time the player perfected his skills, mastering the left foot as well. However, his strong point remained shooting with his preferred foot: in his time at Fiorentina, of a total of 168 goals, he scored 92 with his right and 15 with his left.
Gabriel Batistuta is widely considered as one of the best footballers of 1990s and early 2000s. He is also regarded as one of the best shooters of the ball, who scored some great and breathtaking long-range goals during his career. Stay tuned to read more of
Gabriel Batistuta biography
and his goal celebrations.
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Batistuta was famous for some particular goal celebrations that have become his trademark. In Argentina, with the jersey of Boca Juniors, he used to climb on the pitch side advertising boards after each goal. In the 1994-95 season he used to hold the corner flag with one hand, an act of celebration inspired by the then-teammate Francesco Flachi.
From the 1998-1999 season Batistuta began to celebrate his goals by mimicking a machine gun, a gesture he continued to use in the following seasons, both in the purple jersey and with Roma. Particular was his exultation in a 1-0 win over Juventus also in the 1998-1999 season, when, after scoring the decisive goal with a header, he initially performed the above celebration, but a moment later turned the gesture by mimicking an electric guitar solo.
After his retirement, he moved to Perth, Australia, and live with his family for a few years. He runs a construction company in Argentina. He owns several farms in his native Argentina, near Reconquista, Santa Fe Province. He raises horses, cows, goats and chickens.
It was reported that he had difficulty walking due to an ankle injury sustained during his career and that he could no longer stand for more than half an hour, but he denies this. In an interview about his walking difficulties, he confessed that at one point he wished his leg would be amputated.
Inspired by his friendship with the Argentine polo player Adolfo Cambiaso, Batistuta started playing polo in recent years and has now achieved a handicap of 0. In 2009, he took part in the "Argentina Polo Tour". He played together with Cambiaso in the "Loro Piana" team and won the "Copa Stella Artois" with them. Batistuta has his own polo team called "La Gloria", with which he finished third in the Copa Ciudad de Reconquista in 2016.
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In this section of Gabriel Batistuta biography, we will take a look at his personal life and share with you some information about his wife and children and
Gabriel Batistuta religion
At the age of 16, he met Irina Fernandez, his future wife, at Irina's 15th birthday party. He was ignored by her at the time. Through mutual friends, the two met again two years later, during a curling match. From then on, they kept up a close relationship - three years later, on December 28, 1990, they were married in the Church of St. Roch.
Gabriel Batistuta is a father of four children with his wife Irina Fernandez: Thiago born in 1992, Lucas born in 1997, Joaquin born in 1999, Pablo born in 2002. In 2019 he was invited with his wife to dance in the Italian show Ballando con le stelle.
Despite his ankle injury, Gabriel Batistuta regularly plays in charity football matches. He is also a passionate golfer, he frequently organizes golf tournaments to raise funds for a local hospital in his hometown Reconquista.
During the 1991 Copa Libertadores, Batistuta was involved, along with many other players, in the brawl that broke out during the match between Boca Juniors and Colo-Colo in Santiago, Chile: he was detained with three other teammates by the police after the photographers reported that they had assaulted them; the case was then resolved and the three Argentinians were free to return home.
During the 2010 World Cup, he was robbed in Johannesburg by unknown individuals, like others during the event. In December 2012, two fans were charged with attempting to defraud Batistuta by converting one of his autographs into a bill of sale for 320,000 Argentine pesos (about 50,000 euros) and adding his name, ID and address to it.
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In this section of Gabriel Batistuta biography, we will take a look at his career stats, both at the club and international level. Stay tuned.
Having started his professional club career at Newell's in 1988, he played the next two season for two of the giant Argentinian clubs River Plate and Boca Juniors, before moving to Fiorentina in 1991. During his first three seasons at Argentina, he played a total of 99 matches in all competitions for the three mentioned Argentinian clubs in all competitions, scoring 31 goals.
He was then signed for the Italian side Fiorentina. He played for 8 seasons for them, appearing in a total of 333 matches in all competitions, scoring a great number of 207 goals.
At AS Roma, where he started playing in 2000-01 season, he played a total of 87 matches in all competitions and scored 33 goals. At the winter transfer window of 2002-03 season, he moved on loan to rivals Inter, where he scored 2 goals in 12 matches.
Ultimately at Qatari clubAl-Arabi
, where he retired from playing football, Gabriel Batistuta was able to score an impressive 27 goals in 24 matches in two seasons. All on all, during his club career, Gabriel Batistuta has scored 300 goals in 555 matches.
Gabriel Batistuta made his debut at international level in a match against Venezuela in 1991Copa America
, where he managed to score a double in his debut match. During a career which lasted for 11 years between 1991 and 2002, he played a total of 77 matches and scored 54 goals. He was his nation’s top scorer until 2016 when Lionel Messi broke his record.
Stay tuned to read more of Gabriel Batistuta biography and his honors.
At club level, Batistuta has won many titles at four of his clubs. The most notable of them include Argentine Primera Division in 1989–90 with River Plate, Coppa Italia in 1995–96 with Fiorentina, and Seria A in 200-01 with Roma.
He has also won Copa América in 1991 and 1993, Artemio Franchi Trophy in 1993 and FIFA Confederations Cup in 1992 with Argentina national team.
Batistuta has managed to win many individual honors during his career including Copa America top scorer in 1991 and 1995, FIFA Confederations Cup top scorer in 1992, Serie A top scorer in 1994–95,FIFA World Cup
Silver Shoe in 1998, FIFA World Player of the Year Bronze Award in 1999 and many others.