Roberto Baggio, a football superstar in the nineties. This handsome footballer is famous for his hair in a ponytail style at the back of his head. He has also made eye-catching achievements in the field, he was an exceptional forward in the country of defenders. Still, he remains a villain to many for missing a penalty in the tiebreaker in the 1994 final. Today we will hear the story of Roberto Baggio.
How It All Started
Roberto Baggio was born on February 18, 1967 in the small Italian town of Caldogna. He loved football since he was young and had amazing talent. So he got a chance to play in a local club at a young age. At the age of 13, the striker joined Llanersey Vicenza and scored goal after goal for their youth team. He scored 110 goals in 120 matches and created a sensation throughout Italy. Consequently, in the 1984/85 season, Rabarjo Baggio made his debut for Vicenza’s first team aged just 17. He also played a key role in Vicena’s promotion to the second division by scoring 12 goals in the third division league.
Then, in May 1985, a knee injury put a black paw on Baggio’s career. He has to sit out of the field for more than a year because of the knee injury, which is the enemy of the strikers. Even more unfortunate, he suffered an injury just days after signing a contract to play for Serie A club Fiorentina. At the time, Baggio thought his dream of playing in Serie A might remain a dream. This young Italian striker was very disappointed.
Injury and Fiorentina
Roberto Baggio made his debut in September 1986 and again suffered a knee injury on his debut. Once again he had to spend the whole season in the hospital instead of the field. Baggio returned to the field in 1987/88. But this time he proved that Fiorentina did not make a mistake in buying him. His 6 goals and 8 assists in Serie A took the club to the top of the points table. Roberto Baggio played even better the following season, scoring 24 goals and 7 assists in all competitions. It was during this time that she earned the nickname “Divine Ponytail” for her hairstyle. This striker maintained this performance in the 1989/90 season as well. He also led Fiorentina to the UEFA Cup final. But his club lost to Italian giants Juventus. The misfortune of the finale of “The Divine Ponytail” seems to have started from there.
Roberto Baggio was also called up to Italy’s World Cup squad that year. Despite playing well in this tournament, the best scorer of the service, Salvador Sillaci, stole all the limelight. Despite Italy’s exit from the semi-finals, his spectacular goal against Czechoslovakia caught everyone’s attention. In 1990, Juventus bought Roberto Baggio for a record €8 million. But the club’s supporters did not want to let him go, so they got involved in protests and fights with the police. Baggio himself did not want to come to Juventus. So early on he played so poorly that Juventus fans began to question his dedication to the team.
Gradually, Bajji started to regain his form. Especially his technique of taking free kicks became very popular among the fans. He spent 5 seasons at Juventus scoring 78 goals and winning a Scudetto, an Italian Cup, a UEFA Cup. He personally won the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
Roberto Baggio’s famous penalty miss But the most tragic moment of Rarto Baggio’s career came while playing at Juventus. However, it is on the national team jersey. One of the best strikers of the 90s played brilliantly throughout the tournament. Baggio’s unprecedented creativity in attack along with defensive tenacity took Italy to the final. “The Divine Ponytail” was defeated by Nigeria in the second round, Spain in the quarter-finals and Bulgaria in the semi-finals by the deciding goal of the match.
Roberto Baggio also won the Golden Ball award for scoring 5 goals. But a moment in the finale turns him from hero to national villain. If the result of the game is not determined even after 120 minutes, the match against Brazil will be made in a penalty shootout. And there Baggio came to take the last penalty for Italy. To everyone’s surprise, he hit it a few yards over the goal post. Bajzio broke down in tears but was not forgiven, leaving the Azzurri fans alone to ride the stilts. They seem to have forgotten that Baggio took Italy to the final.
The season after the 1994 World Cup was also unlucky for Roberto Baggio. Spent most of the time on the sidelines with injuries. As a result, Juventus let him go and AC Milan bought Baggio on that occasion. He scored 10 goals and 17 assists in his first season at AC Milan, leading them to the Serie A title. He also scored 9 goals and 8 assists in the 1996/97 season. However, at the end of that season, AC Milan’s new coach Fabio Capola informed him that he was no longer in the Nerazzurri’s calculations.
The last part of the career
Although Baggio wanted to stay at AC Milan, they forced him to sell. The striker joined Bologna and enjoyed his best season at the age of 31, scoring 22 goals in 30 matches. This earned him a chance to play in the 1998 World Cup. By scoring in the first match of the tournament, he became the first Italian to score in three consecutive World Cups. Baggio scored 2 goals and provided two assists in the tournament, but Italy was eliminated from the quarter-finals. Roberto Baggio joined Inter Milan after the World Cup. Scored 17 goals in two seasons there but never managed to adapt. Rather, quarrels with the coach, combined with injuries, indicate that his playing time in Italy’s top team has come to an end. So he joined lowly team Brescia and surprisingly regained form.
The Divine Ponytail played 5 seasons for Brescia. The team remained dominant in Serie A for five seasons. He played 95 matches and scored 45 goals. On the day he played his last match in 2004, the audience gave him a standing ovation. After that match, Brescia retired the number 10 jersey forever.