As a very talented and skilled footballer, Roberto Baggio is considered by many football fans and pundits to be one of the best footballers of all time. Here we take a look at Roberto Baggio biography.
Roberto Baggio, born on 18 February 1967 in Caldogno in the province of Vicenza in the Veneto region of Italy, is a retired Italian international football player, who played as an attacking midfielder or striker from the 1980s to 2000, after his retirement he had several jobs in football management.
Golden Ball winner and FIFA Footballer of the Year in 1993, he is considered as one of the best Italian strikers in history and one of the greatest football players of all time. He is listed among the FIFA 100, chosen by Pele in a list of the 125 best players in the world still alive in 2004.
During his career, Roberto Baggio won the ItalianSerie A
in 1995 and 1996, the UEFA Cup in 1993 and theItalian Cup
in 1995. In 19 Serie A seasons, he played 453 matches and scored 205 goals. With the Italian national team (56 caps and 27 goals), he participated in three World Cups (9 goals) and was a finalist in 1994, where he missed the decisive penalty kick. In 2002 he was listed in the FIFA World Cup Dream Team, a selection of the eleven best players in the history of theWorld Cup
He is nicknamed "Il Divin Codino" ("The Divine with the Ponytail") because of the hairstyle he wore during his career. He has also nicknamed Raffaello for his lovely style of play. In August 2010, he was appointed head of the technical directorate of the Italian Football Federation.
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He won the first edition of the Golden Shoe in 2003. First Italian player in the ranking of the best footballers of the 20th century published by World Soccer in 1999, where he was ranked 16th. He was inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and into the Walk of Fame of the Italy Sport in 2015. Throughout his career, he has received criticism from both fans and critics.
Stay tuned as we are going to share some general information about him like
Roberto Baggio nationality
in this section of his biography.
Roberto Baggio Bio
Full Name: Roberto Baggio
Nickname: Il Divin Codino, Raffaello
Profession: Professional Footballer
Roberto Baggio Physical Stats
Weight: 73 Kg
Height: 1.74 m
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Brown
Roberto Baggio Football Information
Jersey Number: 10
Professional Debut: 1982
Roberto Baggio Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 18 February 1967
Birth Place: Caldogno, Italy
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
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Roberto Baggio childhood
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Roberto Baggio is the sixth of the eight children of Matilde Rizzotto and Fiorindo Baggio, among whom is Eddy, also a former footballer. The family lived in Caldogno, a small village in the province of Vicenza, in the Veneto region.
Roberto was brought up Catholic and from a very young age, he was passionate about football, which he played every day from the corridor of his house to the courtyard in the garden, while his father was a cyclist. He soon said he was more interested in the ball than in school.
During his childhood, his idol was Zico, whom he never missed a single football match on television, beyond his interest in the Inter Milan club he supported. Roberto quickly made a name for himself all over the province for his technical qualities and particular agility on the ball. Both his mother and his sisters remember that it was difficult to detach Roberto from the small clay football pitch in the village.
The football field had become a place that you could always find him in there. With two months to go before he finished his studies, he decided to quit to join the LR Vicenza, and he didn't get the diploma.
Roberto Baggio made his debut in Serie C1, the 3rd Italian division, at the age of 15 in the Lanerossi Vicenza team. During the 1984-1985 season, he scored 12 goals in 29 matches for the team, thus enabling his team to be promoted to Serie B.
On 5 May 1985, at 18 years old he was terribly injured during a match against the Vicenza: his meniscus and the cruciate ligaments in his right leg was injured. A French surgeon, Professor Bousquet, operated on him: 220 stitches were needed to close the wound in this leg, which suddenly became shorter than the other one. This physical characteristic will mark his game. It was also at this point in his life that he discovered Buddhism, and he converted in 1988, thus
Roberto Baggio religion
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Roberto Baggio biography
and his career.
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In 1985, he was hired by the Serie A clubFiorentina
. It took two days before the deal was announced. Because of his lengthy knee injury, Roberto Baggio's Serie A debut came on 21 September 1986 againstSampdoria
, scoring his first goals in his debut; in March 1987 againstNapoli
and Diego Maradona he was the best player and scored three goals.
Even so, his first two seasons were considered only as a breakthrough because some injuries got in the way, but he established himself as an idol from 1987/88 onwards. In the following, the midfielder scored 35 times in 30 matches, astonishing the Stadio Artemio Franchi for the quantity and quality of his beautiful goals.
In one of them, Baggio leaves Maradona on the ground, dribbles two players and the goalkeeper and scores his third goal in the game. In the 1989/90 season, the club finished runners-up in the UEFA Cup, losing 2-3 to rival Juventus. Despite losing the final, Baggio became the top scorer and best player in the tournament.
In 1990, Roberto Baggio made his debut atJuventus
in Turin, where he met Salvatore "Toto" Schillaci, who shone at the 1990 World Cup. His debut was relatively difficult, but he nevertheless and progressively established himself as the real leader of the team.
His first season with Juventus was marked by the match against his former club Fiorentina, in which he refused to take a decisive penalty. He was replaced and on his way out he picked up a scarf (viola) while saluting a former team-mate on the Fiorentina bench. Juventus lost the match 1-0. Many fans accused him of treason.
In the following season 1991-1992, Roberto Baggio enjoyed a fine season with his club under the leadership of Giovanni Trapattoni. Juventus finished 2nd in the Serie A behindAC Milan
. Roberto Baggio scored 18 goals in Serie A this season. He also played and lost the final of the Italian Cup againstParma
In 1993, Juventus won the UEFA Cup, Roberto Baggio was crowned Golden Ball winner and named "Best Player of the Year" after a fabulous season. He scored 3 goals in the semi-final againstParis Saint-Germain
, then again 2 goals in the final of the UEFA Cup against Borussia Dortmund, and qualified with Italy for the 1994 World Cup.
In Serie A, however, the success was not the same, and the Scudetto was once again won by AC Milan. At the end of the season, Juventus still managed to beat the Italian champion in their San Siro stadium, after another superb performance by Roberto Baggio.
Roberto Baggio won his first Italian Serie A title in 1995 with Juventus. That same year he also won the Italian Cup. Despite his two successes, Roberto Baggio left Juventus for AC Milan at the end of the season. Injuries and above all the arrival of Alessandro Del Piero marked the end of his career with Juventus.
In his first year at AC Milan, Roberto Baggio won the league and thus his second Scudetto in a row. After a 1996-1997 season in which, in addition to disappointing results, he ended up losing his starting place.
In the summer of 1997, Baggio showed up at the Milan team meeting with the intention of staying, but the returning Capello showed no technical plans for him; feeling excluded from the Milan team, and losing the coach's confidence in him, Roberto decided to leave, after 67 appearances and 19 goals in the Rossoneri jersey.
He wanted to play consistently in order to be able to be part of the Italian team at the 1998 World Cup and finally become world champion after having come so close in 1990 at home and especially 4 years later in the United States.
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A new adventure was beginning for Roberto Baggio, in a team without great ambition, his personal goal was to play in the starting line-up for the next World Cup 1998 in France. Although his season was also his best performance, he scored 22 goals in 30 matches under his coach Renzo Ulivieri forBologna
Before a league match against Juventus, he decided not to place him in the starting lineup, and Roberto Baggio, in turn, decided not to sit on the bench. Pushed by the press and the Tifosi, Renzo Ulivieri made Roberto Baggio his regular player for the rest of the season.
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Roberto Baggio biography
and his Inter career.
After the 1998 World Cup, Massimo Moratti, the president of Inter Milan, decided to hire Roberto Baggio to associate him with Ronaldo. The Milanese team thus introduced a formidable duo of strikers and it was with great hope that the season began. However, this 1998-1999 season brings only little satisfaction to the "Nerazzurri" fans.
Inter finished very far from AC Milan who won the Scudetto and was eliminated by Manchester United in the quarter-finals of theChampions League
. Moreover, four coaches succeeded one another at the head of the team, but none of them managed to find the solution.
For the 1999-2000 season, Marcello Lippi, Roberto Baggio's former coach at Juventus, was appointed to bring Inter Milan back to the top. The team was also strengthened by the arrival of several players, including Christian Vieri, the centre forward for the Italian team. During the season, the attacking duo was mostly composed of Ronaldo and Christian Vieri, so the season looked like being a difficult one for Roberto Baggio.
In fact, this season is one of the darkest in the career of Roberto Baggio. Marcello Lippi, with whom he had a conflict from the beginning of the season, didn't make it easy for him by sending him to the bench on numerous occasions. In the play-off match between Inter Milan and Parma, which decided the two teams for fourth place in the league, qualifying for the Champions League, scored a double and saved the season for Inter and Marcelo Lippi.
At the end of the season, between Roberto Baggio and Marcello Lippi, Inter Milan chose the latter and Roberto Baggio found himself without a club, while the Italian national team flew away without him to play Euro 2000 in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Roberto Baggio signed with Brescia Calcio in the summer of 2000 thanks in particular to Carlo Mazzone, the coach of the team, who made a personal effort to bring him toBrescia Calcio
. Roberto Baggio played there until the end of his career and hoped to be called up to play in the 2002 World Cup inSouth Korea
and Japan. Despite all his efforts, the call-up doesn't arrive and Roberto Baggio was unable to participate in his 4th World Cup in a row.
On March 14, 2004, during the match against Parma, Roberto Baggio scored his 200th goal in Serie A, thus joining four other stars: Silvio Piola, Gunnar Nordahl, Giuseppe Meazza and José Altafini.
Roberto Baggio played his last match against AC Milan on 16 May 2004, shortly after being called up for the last time in April 2004 to play a friendly match against Spain. The affection of the Italian Tifosi for their champion could be felt throughout the game by ovations every time Roberto Baggio touched the ball and by a standing ovation when he was replaced a few minutes before the final whistle.
It is also interesting to notice that the Brescia Calcio team, before the arrival of Roberto Baggio, had never managed to stay in Serie A. During the four seasons where Roberto Baggio has been in the team, Brescia each time escaped relegation without too many difficulties (even qualifying once for Europe). During the 2004-2005 season, Brescia Calcio, without its "number 10", finished 19th and was therefore relegated to Serie B.
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Baggio made his debut for the Italian national team on 16 November 1988. He took part in the 1990 World Cup. At the 1994 World Cup in theUnited States
, Baggio and the national team reached the final, which they lost toBrazil
After almost single-handedly taking Italy from the round of 16 to the final with five goals, he missed the last penalty and became the tragic figure of that World Cup. Of the five Italian penalty takers, only two were able to convert their penalties. His performance and the constant pleas of the Tifosi to the national coach at the time, Cesare Maldini, helped him to participate in the 1998 World Cup in France. After mixed performances atInter Milan
, he was not taken to the 2000 European Championship.
Despite consistently good performances in Brescia, he was not nominated for either the 2002 World Cup or the 2004 European Championship. He played his farewell match for the national team under Giovanni Trapattoni in a friendly againstSpain
on 28 April 2004.
Recognized as a "star player" from a young age, Baggio was a versatile player capable of playing multiple positions: he played predominantly as a second striker or trequartista but was sometimes deployed as a striker (in the 4-3-3), as a centre forward (in the 4-4-2) or as an outside forward (in the 4-3-3). Michel Platini described him as a "nine-and-a-half", as he considered him halfway between a forward and a shadow striker, a characteristic that often made his tactical placement difficult.
Excellent from a technical point of view, he was compared in that sense to several number tens of the past: journalist Gianni Brera often compared him with Giuseppe Meazza, while Giovanni Trapattoni compared his style of play to that of Zico, also noting technical affinities with the aforementioned Platini and Juan Alberto Schiaffino.
Roberto Baggio is widely regarded as one of the best Italian footballers of all time and amongst the best strikers in the history of football. Poems, songs and plays have been dedicated to him, and references to him can also be found in comic books and cartoons; in the latter case, he was paid tribute to in episodes of “What champions Holly and Benji!!!” and Sailor Moon. He has also been the subject of different caricatures.
As a striker, Roberto Baggio has scored many goals during his career both on international and club level. One of the goal celebrations that we often saw from him perform after scoring goals was when he would run off to stand in front of the spectators, raising his left hand and screaming in joy.
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He wrote an autobiography, published in 2001, titled "Una porta nel Cielo" (A door in the sky), in which he traces his career, his connection with the Buddhism, and explores the complicated relationships he had with some coaches (Arrigo Sacchi, Renzo Ulivieri and Marcello Lippi), spending words of praise for others (Giovanni Trapattoni, Luigi Simoni, Luigi Maifredi, Óscar Tabárez and Carlo Mazzone).
On 14 February 2013, he participated in one of the galas of the San Remo Song Festival. There he was interviewed by the Italian television presenter Fabio Fazio and also read a letter addressed especially to young people. During the interview, a video was shown in which he was greeted by Aung San Suu Kyi.
In this section of Roberto Baggio biography, we want to take a deeper look at his personal life and explore
Roberto Baggio life story
He is the sixth of the eight children of Florindo Baggio (1931-2020) and Matilde Rizzotto; he has a brother named Eddy Baggio, who was also a former footballer, playing in Serie B. His father, a football and cycling enthusiast, named him Roberto in honor of Roberto Boninsegna, former Italian footballer.
Roberto Baggio married his girlfriend Andreina Fabbi in 1989, together they have three children: the eldest Valentina, and then Mattia and Leonardo.
Initially a Catholic, he later turned to Buddhism, joining the Soka Gakkai from 1 January 1988. He later opened a Soka Gakkai centre in a premise he owned and a meeting hall in Thiene; in October 2014 he also opened the largest Buddhist cultural centre in Europe in Corsico.
He is the owner of a farm in Argentina and from November 1991 to September 2012 he ran a sports shop called Roberto Baggio Sport, which was closed due to the economic crisis.
In December 1994, with annual earnings of around 8.6 billion lire (5.3 from contract and 3.3 from advertising revenue), he was the first footballer to enter the world's forty highest-paid sportsmen according to Forbes.
Stay tuned to read more of Roberto Baggio biography and his charitable works.
As an FAO Ambassador, he has taken part in numerous charitable initiatives.
On 9 November 2010, he was awarded the 2010 Peace Summit Award, an award given annually by a committee composed of Nobel Peace Laureates to the personality most committed to those most in need, for "his strong and sustained commitment to world peace and related international activities".
Roberto Baggio had also took part in the first edition of the inter-religious match against Pope Francis on 1 September 2014. He was one of the first to support this initiative. During this symbolic match, Roberto Baggio scores a goal on a pass from Diego Maradona.
In February 1997, he was called to testify by the Italian financial police in connection with an international fraud against him, in which he lost some 7 billion lire in an investment in a mine in Peru run by a Caribbean bank and Italian developers.
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In this section of
Roberto Baggio biography
, we want to take a deeper look into his club and international career statistics, so stay tuned!
During his 22 years career between 1982 and 2004, Roberto Baggio has played a total of 643 matches in all competitions, scoring 291 goals for 6 different Italian clubs. He has scored the most of his club career goals for Juventus, which is 115 goals in 200 matches in all competitions.
He also has one of the best scoring ratios in European competitions, scoring 32 goals in a total of 63 matches.
Roberto Baggio has played a total of 56 matches for his nation Italy, scoring 27 goals. His international career started in 1988 and effectively ended in 1999, however his last match forItaly national team
was against Spain in 2004.
Roberto Baggio has scored 9 goals for Italy in three different World Cups.
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At club level, Roberto Baggio has won Serie A for two times with Juventus and AC Milan. He has also won Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup with Juventus.
With Italian national team, Roberto Baggio finished runner-ups in 1990 World Cup in Mexico and third-placed in 1994 World Cup in the United States.
He has also won many individual titles and honors, which the most notable of them include UEFA Cup Winners' Cup top scorer, World Soccer's World Player of the Year, Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFA World Cup All-Star Team and FIFA 100.