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Facts about Roberto Baggio, the Divine Ponytail

Thu 29 April 2021 | 19:29

The Italian former professional footballer, Roberto Baggio, is regarded as one of the best forwards in the history of football and also one of the greatest players of his generation. Read on to find more facts about Roberto Baggio, the magnificent striker.

The Italian professional footballer was born on 18 February 1967, meaning that

Roberto Baggio's age

is 54. His parents are Matilde and Fiorindo Baggio, the couple has eight children and Roberto was sixth.

When he was only nine years old, Roberto was picked up by his local club Caldogno to be a part of the youth team at the club and in a matter of two years he established himself as prodigious talent who could score a lot of goals except the one in the final of the World Cup. He missed a spot kick against

Brazil

.

He was a second striker and attacking midfielder who started his senior career in 1982 for Vicenza. Known for his luxurious skill, mental strength and questionable hairstyles, the Italian made his name with

Fiorentina

in the late 1980s before joining

Juventus

.

He became an international legend when he single-handedly dragged Italy to the 1994 World Cup final. In 1993, he won the Ballon d'Or. He had a great season with Juventus.

Roberto Baggio was much celebrated for his charitable endeavors, which included becoming a global ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2005.

The followings are some facts about Roberto Baggio:

The first

fact about Roberto Baggio

is that his skills as a footballer of rare talent were noticed early on.

Roberto Baggio early life

Roberto Baggio, born 18 February 1967, is an Italian retired professional footballer who played his entire long and successful club career in

Serie A

.

The fact about

Roberto Baggio's childhood

is that he was born in Caldogno, Vento, one of the 20 religions of Italy and its capital is Venice.

Roberto Baggio's parents

are Matilde and Fiorindo Baggio, Roberto is the sixth of eight siblings. Roberto's younger brother, Eddy, was also a footballer but he never became famous like his elder brother.

Roberto was interested in football from an early age and when he was nine, he was selected by his local club Caldogno to be a part of the youth team.

After two years playing at the club, Roberto had scored 45 goals in 26 matches; he also scored six goals in one match.

At the age of thirteen, Roberto Baggio was recruited by talent scout Antonio Mora and was signed to 3rd Italian Division football club Vicenza for £300.

Roberto managed to score 110 goals in 120 matches which was just unbelievable in that age and in 1983, at the age of 13, he began his professional career with the Vicenza senior side.

Roberto Baggio personal life

The fact about

Roberto Baggio's personal life

is that he got married to Adreina Fabbi in 1989 in a traditional Roman Catholic ceremony despite following Buddhism when he married Andreina. They had been in a relationship for a long time.

About

Roberto Baggio's children

, it should be mentioned that he has three children, a daughter and two sons. Their names are Valentina, Mattia, and Leonardo. They probably never showed interest in football.

Baggio was initially a Roman Catholic who converted to Buddhism after his career-threatening injury in 1985. He practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the Soka Gakkai International Buddhist organization.

Roberto Baggio professional life

Roberto Baggio first played professional football in 1982, with the lower-division team Vicenza. In 1985, he joined Fiorentina, in Florence, a member of Italy’s top division, Serie A.

Baggio blossomed into stardom with Fiorentina, his distinctive ponytail becoming famous throughout the country. When he was transferred to Juventus for a then record fee in 1990.

His post-retirement life has been largely uneventful. He has thought about getting into coaching after football, but it never happened.

Roberto Baggio club career

The fact about Roberto Baggio's club career is that he began his senior career with Vicenza in 1982.

On 5 June 1983, Roberto Baggio made his Serie C debut against Piacenza at the age of 16. He scored his first goal in Serie C on 3 June 1984 against Brescia from the penalty spot.

Baggio made his Coppa Italia debut with the club on 31 August 1983, against

Palermo

, and his first goal in the competitions came on 26 August 1984 in 4-2 away loss to Empoli.

Roberto Baggio managed to score 12 goals in 29 matches during the 1984-1985 Serie C1 season and helped the club to gain promotion to Serie B.

With this great performance during that season, he won the Guerin d'Oro in 1985 as the best player in Serie C.

On 5 May 1985 Baggio shattered both the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the meniscus of his right knee while playing against 

Rimini

, while attempting a slide tackle.

This serious injury occurred two days before his official transfer deal to Fiorentina had been finalized, and it seriously threatened his career, at age 18.

Fiorentina retained their faith in him, agreeing to commit to the transfer as well as fund the required surgery, one of many reasons for Baggio's attachment to the club.

Fiorentina

In 1985 Baggio joined Serie A club, Fiorentina, for £1.5 million. Roberto Baggio didn't appear in Serie A during his first season at the club as he was sidelined by injury.

Baggio made his Serie A debut in the following season on 21 September 1986 in a home win against Sampdoria. His European debut was on 17 September 1986 against Boavista in an UEFA Cup match.

Roberto Baggio suffered another knee injury on 28 September, and he was operated again, requiring 220 stitches to have it rebuilt, losing 12 kg as a result and missing most of the season.

On 10 May 1987, Baggio returned and scored his first league goal from a free-kick in a 1-1 draw against eventual league champions,

Napoli

. Baggio's equalizer saved the club from relegation.

During the 1988-89 season, Baggio led his side to a Coppa Italia quarter-final with scoring nine goals, as Fiorentina were eliminated by eventual champions Sampdoria.

That season Baggio managed to score 15 goals in Serie A and finished third in goal-scorers table. He helped the club to win an UEFA Cup spot.

Roberto Baggio and Stefano Borgonovo formed a notable attacking duo; the pair scored 29 of Fiorentina's 44 Serie A goals, earning the nickname "B2".

In the following season despite that Fiorentina were struggling against relegation, Baggio led the club to the 1990 UEFA Cup Final, only to be defeated by his future club, Juventus.

On 22 November 1989, Roberto Baggio scored his first goal in European competitions against

Dynamo Kyiv

in the UEFA Cup round of 16.

In the 1989-90 season, Baggio scored 17 goals in Serie A to become the second-highest goal-scorer of the league behind Marco Van Basten.

He also was awarded the Bravo Award as the best under-23 player in European competitions and placed eighth in the 1990 Ballon d'Or.

Juventus

After spending five seasons in Florence, in 1990 Baggio joined to rivals, Juventus, for £8 million, the world record transfer for a football player at the time. He wore the number 10 shirt, formerly worn by Michel Platini.

The

fact about Roberto Baggio

's transfer to Juventus is that when it was made, a riot broke out in Florence, injuring fifty people.

On 7 April 1991 when Juventus faced Fiorentina, Baggio refused to take a penalty, stating Fiorentina goalkeeper Gianmatteo Mareggini knew him too well. Baggio's replacement missed the penalty and Juventus eventually lost the match.

When Roberto Baggio was substituted, he picked up a Fiorentina scarf thrown onto the field, a gesture which, although appreciated by his former club's fans, caused outrage among the Juventus supporters, who were at first indisposed to accept him.

Roberto Baggio claimed, "Deep in my heart I am always purple," the color of Fiorentina.

In his first season with Juventus, Baggio had acceptable performance and managed to score 27 goals in all competitions but they didn't win any trophy and finished the Serie A in seventh place.

At the beginning of the season they lost the Supercoppa Italiana against Napoli, where Baggio scored Juve's only goal.

They were also knocked out of European Cup Winners' Cup in the semi-finals by Spanish giants,

Barcelona

. Baggio scored nine goals and became the top-scorer of the competition.

In the following season Roberto Baggio managed to score 18 goals in Serie A and finished runner-up to Marco van Basten for the Serie A top scorer title, he also provided 8 assists.

Juventus finished runners-up to Fabio Capello's 

A.C. Milan 

in Serie A table, and to Parma in the Coppa Italia final, in which Baggio scored in his club's 1–0 victory in the first leg from a penalty.

Roberto Baggio came to be accepted by the Juventus fans during this season, as he was seen as a leader around whom the club's play revolved.

During the 1992-93 season, Baggio was appointed team captain. That season is considered to be Baggio's best in his career.

He had a great season,  winning the only European club trophy of his career after helping Juventus to the UEFA Cup final, in which he scored twice and assisted another goal over both legs, defeating Dutch club, 

Borussia Dortmund

, 6–1 on aggregate.

Roberto Baggio was once again runner-up for the Serie A capocannoniere title with 21 goals and 6 assists.

He scored a personal best of 30 goals in all club competitions that season, in addition to five goals with the

Italy national team

.

Roberto Baggio managed a personal record 39 goals across all competitions during the 1993 calendar.

The fact about Roberto Baggio's performance in that season is that he managed to earn both the European Footballer of the Year, and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards.

During the 1994-95 season which was Baggio's last with Juve, he helped his side reach to another UEFA Cup final by scoring four goals, despite his great performance, they were defeated in the final by

Parma

.

In five years playing for Juventus, Baggio scored 115 goals in 200 appearances and in 2010,  he was named one of the club's 50 greatest legends.

AC Milan

After spending five great seasons with Juve, it seemed that Baggio's era was coming to an end.

In 1995 the club's coach, Marcello Lippi, and the chairman, Umberto Agnelli, announced that Baggio no longer featured in their plans at Juventus and decided to focus on the emerging star Alessandro Del Piero.

Roberto Baggio joined to AC Milan for £6.8 million, amidst several protests from Juventus fans.

At the beginning of his first season with Milan, Baggio struggled with some injuries but he came back into the starting line-up and was appointed the main penalty taker.

He helped his side to win the Serie A title, notably scoring a goal against Fiorentina in the title-deciding match.

Roberto Baggio finished the season with seven goals in 28 Serie A appearances and also provided 12 assists in Serie A, making him the top assist provider of the season.

With this Scudetto title, Baggio became one of only six players to win the title in consecutive years with different teams, and was voted the club's best player of the season by the fans.

Towards the end of the season, Roberto Baggio had disagreements with coach, Capello, due to limited playing time, as Capello believed he was no longer fit enough to play for 90 minutes.

In the opening of the 1996-97 season, Baggio was initially left out of the first team under new club manager, Oscar Tabarez.

Later he convinced the Uruguayan manager of his abilities and earned himself a spot in the starting line-up; Baggio became the focal point of the team's offensive play.

After a series of disappointing results, Baggio was relegated to the bench again, and Milan's former coach, Arrigo Sacchi, was called in as a replacement, the former Italy manager with whom Baggio had disputed following the 1994 World Cup.

Although their relationship at first improved, Sacchi gave Roberto Baggio limited playing time, and he soon fell out of form, along with the rest of the squad, which caused their relationship to destroy again.

That season became one of the worst ones for Milan, as they finished the season in 11th place of Serie A and were knocked out of Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League. They also lost the 1996 Supercoppa Italiana to Fiorentina, as Baggio was left on the bench.

Roberto Baggio made his UCL debut on 11 September 1996 against Porto and managed to score his first goal in competitions on 30 October 1996 against Gotenberg. They were finally eliminated in the group stage.

Bologna

In 1997 Baggio decided to leave Milan due to Capello's returning to Milan as the coach, Capello stated that Baggio was not a part of his plans with Milan.

Roberto Baggio chose to move to Parma, but the manager at the time, Carlo Ancelotti, prevented the transfer, as he also did not feel Baggio would fit into his tactical plans. Ancelotti would later state he regretted this decision.

Baggio joined Bologna, aiming to save the club from relegation and earn a place at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

At the beginning of season, Baggio cut off his iconic ponytail, signifying his rebirth.

He regained his great form with Bologna and had a perfect season, with scoring 22 goals in Serie A which was his personal best and also provided 9 assists to help his side to an eighth-place finishing, allowing them to qualify for the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Baggio's performances with the club earned him a place in Italy's 1998 World Cup squad and he rose to hero status amongst the fans.

Inter Milan

Roberto Baggio joined to his favorite childhood club

Inter Milan

after the 1998 World Cup.

He joined Inter in order to play in UCL; however this proved to be an unsuccessful move, as after injuries, disappointing results and several managerial changes throughout the season.

During the 1998-99 season, Baggio managed to score 5 goals and provided 10 assists in 23 Serie A appearances.

He scored four goals in Champions League, helping the club to reach quarter-finals where they were eliminated by eventual winners

Manchester United

, also scoring a memorable brace against defending champions,

Real Madrid

in the group stage.

In the following season Baggio was left out of the squad for most of the season by manager Marcello Lippi, stating Baggio was out of form.

Roberto Baggio stated Lippi had dumped him after he refused to point out which of club's players had expressed negative opinions about the coach.

Baggio's ultimate important contribution to Inter was scoring two memorable goals against Parma in the play-off match for the last remaining Champions League place, which Inter won 3–1.

Brescia

After two seasons with Inter, Baggio decided to leave the club at age 33.

Baggio was linked with several Serie A clubs, such as Napoli and Reggina, and also various Premier League and La Liga clubs, including Barcelona.

He finally joined to Serie A newcomers Brescia, Baggio stayed at Italy in order to have a better opportunity of being called up for the 2002 World Cup.

Baggio helped his side to finish in a joint seventh place with scoring 10 goals and making 10 assists, this was their best Serie A finish since the league's re-establishment, and they qualified for the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Baggio reached to the final of the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup with Brescia, where they were defeated by Paris Saint-Germain.

During the next season Roberto Baggio suffered from several serious injuries from his left knee.

He wasn't picked by Italy's national team manager for the 2002 FIFA World Cup .

Roberto Baggio reversed his initial decision to retire after missing out on the World Cup tournament, expressing his intention to surpass the 200 Serie A goals.

The 2003-04 season was the final season of Baggio's career. On 14 March 2004, Baggio scored his 200th Serie A goal against Parma to save the club from relegation.

Baggio was the first player in almost 30 years to surpass the 200-goal milestone, and is currently only one of seven players to have accomplished the feat.

His final and 205th Serie A career goal came on 9 May 2004, in a 2–1 home win over Lazio.

On 16 May 2004, Baggio played his final Serie A match at the San Siro against league champions AC Milan.

Roberto Baggio was substituted in the 88th minute and the 80,000 present at the San Siro gave him a standing ovation.

Roberto Baggio retired as Brescia's all-time leading goal-scorer in Serie A. His number 10 shirt was retired by the club in his honor, and he is considered the club's greatest ever player.

Roberto Baggio international career

The fact about Roberto Baggio's international career is that he played 16 years for Italy national team from 1988 to 2004.

He represented his country in three World Cups; 1990, 1994 and 1998 and in 1994 World Cup his great performances led Italy to final but they were beaten by Brazil in penalty shoot outs as Baggio missed his penalty.

On 16 November 1988, Roberto Baggio made his senior international debut in a friendly match against Netherlands.

Baggio scored his first international goal on 22 April 1989, from a free-kick in a 1–1 draw against Uruguay in an international friendly.

On 20 September 1989, Roberto Baggio scored his first brace for Italy in a friendly match against Bulgaria.

In 1990 Baggio was called up for his first World Cup. He scored two goals in the tournament, including the "goal of the tournament" in a 2–0 win against Czechoslovakia.

 Italy reached the semi-finals but they were eliminated on penalties against defending champions Argentina, although Baggio was able to score his penalty in the shootout.

Roberto Baggio was expected to be one of the stars of the 1994 World Cup, entering the competition as the reigning Ballon d'Or winner.

He scored 5 goals during the 1994 World Cup and led Italy to the final match. He scored two goals against Nigeria and helped Italy win 2-1 in round of 16.

In the quarter-finals Baggio scored another match-winning goal to defeat 

Spain

 2–1. Baggio scored two more goals to defeat Bulgaria in the semi-finals, leading Italy to the World Cup final for the first time in 12 years. 

They had to face against Brazil in the final match and Baggio was not fully fit for the match due to hamstring injury.

The match ended 0-0 after extra time ; he took Italy's last penalty in the resulting shootout, but he put the decisive spot-kick over the cross-bar, which meant the Brazilians won the title, resulting in one of the most upsetting moments in World Cup history.

He was a member of Italy national team for 1998 World Cup. Baggio scored a goal against

Chile

in the group stage and his second goal came on final group match against Austria.

Finally in the quarter finals against France, they lost the match on penalties and this match was Baggio's last match in World Cup.

Baggio played his final international match on 28 April 2004 in a friendly match against Spain; he was given a standing ovation after being substituted off.

Some quick facts about Roberto Baggio:

About Roberto Baggio's age, it should be mentioned that he was born on 18 February 1967, this means that he is 54 years old.

The fact about Roberto Baggio's playing style is that he was a world class playmaker with an eye for goal, who was renowned for his creativity, vision, ability to read the game, passing ability and crossing accuracy, which made him an excellent assist provider.

Baggio came fourth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll in 1999 and was ranked 16th in World Soccer's list of the 100 greatest footballers of the 20th century, the highest ranked Italian player.

Roberto Baggio played in 16 World Cup matches for Italy and he's the joint-highest Italian goal-scorer of all-time in the World Cup, with nine goals, alongside Paolo Rossi and Christian Vieri.

Roberto Baggio is the only Italian to have scored in three World Cups (two goals in 1990, five in 1994 and two in 1998).

With 27 international goals he's the joint fourth-highest scorer for Italy, he is regarded as the greatest Italian footballer ever.

The

fact about Roberto Baggio

's stats in Serie A is that with 205 goals in 452 appearances he's the seventh all-time highest scorer in Serie A history.

Baggio had a career threatening injury in 1985, after that he converted to Buddhism from being a Roman Catholic.

He has close ties with Argentina and he has revealed that he's a supporter of Argentine club,

Boca Juniors

, due to their passionate fan base.

Roberto Baggio has been nicknamed the "Divin' Codino" ("Divine Ponytail," in Italian, a reference to the iconic hairstyle he wore for most of his career, as well as his playing ability and Buddhist beliefs).

Roberto Baggio social media

About

Roberto Baggio social media

, it should be mentioned that the Italian football legend hasn't any social media activities.

As a Buddhist, he has been a staunch follower of the faith. It was the reason why his ponytail was called Divine. It's highly likely that he still follows it which might be the reason why he's quietly bowed out from all public life.

Roberto Baggio body measurement

About

Roberto Baggio body measurement

, it should be mentioned that there is no exact information on is body measurements but he stands 1.75 m tall. Baggio weighs 73 kgs.

Roberto Baggio net worth

Speaking about

Roberto Baggio's net worth

, it should be mentioned that his net worth is estimated to be around $15 million.

He was a great player during his career and he became the most expensive football player in 1990 with his transfer from Fiorentina to Juventus for £8 million.

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