Roberto Baggio : biography
Baggio was born in Caldogno, Veneto, son of Matilde and Fiorindo Baggio. He has 7 brothers and sisters. As a youngster, he always had a keen interest in the sport of football and played for a local youth club over a period of nine years. After scoring 6 goals in one game, Baggio was persuaded by scout Antonio Mora to join Vicenza. Roberto Baggio is the 6th of 8 siblings. His younger brother, Eddy Baggio, was also a footballer who played 86 games in Serie B. After his serious career threatening injury in 1985, Baggio, formerly a Roman Catholic, converted to Buddhism. Despite his conversion to Buddhism, he married his long-time girlfriend Andreina Fabbi in 1989, in a traditional Roman Catholic ceremony. They have a daughter, Valentina, and two sons, Mattia and Leonardo.
Baggio’s strong impact on the world of football has recently been celebrated with the release of an online game called Baggio’s Magical Kicks, in which players try and replicate his precision and accuracy to score free kicks and penalties.http://www.myfootballgames.co.uk/game/80/Baggio_s-Magical-Kicks.html
In 1994, the Italian satirist Corrado Guzzanti parodied Roberto Baggio’s advertisement for Italian Petrol Company IP made prior to the 1994 World Cup.
Baggio is very popular in Japan, for example, he endorsed video games like Super Formation Soccer 95: della Serie A, World Football Climax, and the Japanese version of Let’s Make a Soccer Team!.
The Italian poet Giovanni Raboni composed the sonnet "Lode a Baggio" in his honour.
He has also been referenced in the songs "Baggio, Baggio" by Lucio Dalla and in "Marmellata n. 25" by Cesare Cremonini, as well as in the song "Chi ha Peccato" by Giuseppe Povia.
An animated version of himself also appeared in the Japanese football cartoon "Che Campioni: Holly & Benji".
Baggio was also featured in several Italian commercials, the two most notable ones both reference his penalty miss in the 1994 World Cup Final against Brazil. The first commercial to reference this, was made for Wind in 2000, and alters what happened historically, showing Baggio scoring the final penalty in the 1994 World Cup final after the ball initially hit the cross bar before bouncing in, allowing Italy to win the tournament. The other commercial, made for Johnnie Walker in 2001, showed how he managed to conquer his grief from the miss when he scored the equalising penalty against Chile in the 1998 World Cup and by believing in himself. He also featured in several diadora commercials and advertisements since he endorsed their products.
He was shown in the video to "Waka Waka" the 2010 World Cup song by Shakira. In the Music Video, footage is shown of him scoring a goal against Spain in the 1994 World Cup Quarter Final, and missing the infamous penalty against Brazil in the final of the same World Cup.
An alter-ego of his is referenced in the Italian children’s comics of "Mickey Mouse" and "Duck Tales" (Topolino), in the volume "Topolino e il Giallo alla World Cup" in which he is known as "Roberto Paggio."
Baggio endorsed the 2006 Football Management simulation Let’s Make a Soccer Teamm in Japan.
In 2011, the Italian sports newspaper "La Gazzetta dello Sport" issued a collection of DVDs entitled "Io Che Sarò Roberto Baggio" recounting his illustrious career and showing his goals and other iconic moments of his career.
In 2012, Matthew Le Tissier stated in an interview that Baggio was the best footballer he had ever played against.
Goals and Appearances:
- 318 goals in 693 appearances all official competitions (291 goals in 637 appearances in all official club competitions)
- 205 goals and 117 assists in Serie A in 452 matches (+ 3 goals in 4 Serie A European playoff matches)
- 76 goals from 91 penalties in Serie A (best all-time record in Italy) – 108 goals from 122 penalties in all competitions (excluding penalty shootouts – 3 goals out of 4 attempts).
- 32 goals in European competitions
- 5 goals in 11 appearances in the UEFA Champions League (1 goal in 2 caps in the Qualifying Rounds)
- 17 goals in 42 appearances in the UEFA Cup
- 1 goal in 2 appearances in the Intertoto Cup
- 9 goals in 8 appearances in the UEFA European Cup Winner’s Cup
- 38 goals in 85 appearances in Coppa Italia (+ 1 goal in one appearance in the Supercoppa Italiana)
- 27 goals in 56 appearances for the Italian National Team.
- 9 goals in World Cup finals in 16 appearances (2 during Italia 90, 5 during USA 94, 2 during France 98)
- 6 goals in 10 appearances in World Cup Qualifying Matches
- 2 goals in 7 appearances in European Championship Qualifying matches
- 10 goals in 23 appearances in International Friendly matches
- 2 goals and 1 assist in 3 caps for the FIFA All-Stars
- 13 goals in 36 appearances in Serie C1
- 1 goal in 2 appearances in the Coppa Italia Serie C