Roberto Baggio was an Italian former professional footballer who mainly played as a second striker, or as an attacking midfielder, although he was capable of playing in several offensive positions. A technically gifted, creative playmaker and a set piece specialist renowned for his curling free kicks and goalscoring. Baggio played for Italy in 56 matches, scoring 27 goals, and is the fourth highest goalscorer for his national team. He starred in the Italian team that finished third in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, scoring twice. At the 1994 FIFA World Cup he led Italy to the final, scoring five goals, received the World Cup Silver Ball and was named in the World Cup All-Star Team. Although he was the star performer for Italy at the tournament, he is largely remembered for missing the decisive penalty in the shootout of the Final against Brazil. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup he scored twice, before Italy were eliminated to eventual champions France in the quarter-finals. Baggio is the only Italian to score in three World Cups, and with nine goals holds the record for most goals scored in World Cup tournaments for Italy, along with Paolo Rossi and Christian Vieri. In 2002, he became the first Italian player in over 50 years to score more than 300 career goals; he is currently the fourth-highest scoring Italian in all competitions with 318 goals. In 2004, during the final season of his career, Baggio became the first player in over 30 years to score 200 goals in Serie A, and in 2017 he was still the seventh highest goalscorer of all time in Serie A, with 205 goals. In 1990, he moved from Fiorentina to Juventus for a world record transfer fee. Baggio has won two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia and a UEFA Cup, playing for seven different Italian clubs during his career: Vicenza, Fiorentina, Juventus, Milan, Bologna, Internazionale, and Brescia.
Match Worn Shirt
Watch above the two memorable goals of Roberto Baggio against Parma in the play-off match for the last remaining UEFA Champions League place
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In the 1999–2000 season, Baggio’s former Juventus manager, Lippi, was appointed as Inter’s new coach. Lippi did not favour Baggio, and left him out of the squad for most of the season, stating that Baggio was out of shape. In his autobiography, Baggio stated that Lippi had dumped him after Baggio refused to point out which of Inter’s players had expressed negative opinions about the coach, also highlighting an incident during a training session, where he called out Christian Vieri and Christian Panucci for applauding Baggio for a notable assist. Baggio was used scarcely, and often as a substitute, scoring only 4 goals in 18 appearances during the regular Serie A season. He made 5 appearances in the Coppa Italia, with his only goal coming against local rivals Milan in the second leg of the quarter-finals, as he helped Inter reach the final, only to be defeated by Lazio. Despite his limited playing time, Baggio still managed several important goals to help Inter to a fourth-place finish, alongside Parma, such as his match winning goal against Verona, which he scored after coming off the bench, after being excluded from the team since 18 December 1999. Baggio had also previously helped to set up Inter’s equaliser during the match. This was the first time Baggio had scored for Inter since his goal on 27 May of the previous season, and in the post-match the interview, he denied accusations made by Lippi in regard to his personal form. Baggio’s last important contribution to Inter was scoring two memorable goals against Parma in the play-off match for the last remaining UEFA Champions League place, which Inter won 3–1; Lippi had been forced to field Baggio due to several injuries. Baggio was given a perfect 10 rating from the Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, who described his performance as “absolutely perfect all game”. This game is considered an example of professionalism shown by Baggio, as Inter’s president Massimo Moratti had stated that Lippi would only stay on if the team qualified for the Champions League.
Brescia vs Vicenza
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This style of shirt with “Brescia Calcio 1911” printed on the back was only used by the team during the Italy Cup home game against Vicenza which took place on August 26th 2000. For the rest of the season the shirts used by the team were without the printing on the back. This shirt was issued for Baggio because the player was not part of the game.
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Baggio is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. In 1999, he came fourth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll, and was chosen on the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002. In 1993, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100, a list of the world’
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After two years with Inter, Baggio decided not to renew his expiring contract due to his conflicts with Marcello Lippi, making him a free agent at age 33. He was linked with smaller Serie A clubs such as Napoli and Reggina, and also several Premier League and La Liga clubs, including Barcelona. Baggio ultimately transferred to Serie A newcomers Brescia, under head coach Carlo Mazzone, aiming to save them from relegation, and staying in Italy in order to have a greater opportunity of being called up for the 2002 World Cup. He was made captain and was given the number 10 shirt, playing as an attacking midfielder. Despite injury problems during the first half of the season, Baggio re-found his form and managed ten goals and ten assists in the 2000–01 season. Brescia finished in a joint seventh place, their best Serie A finish since the league’s re-establishment in 1946, and qualified for the UEFA Intertoto Cup, also reaching the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia, losing to eventual winners Fiorentina. Baggio helped Brescia to the final of the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup, where they were defeated by Paris Saint-Germain on away goals. Baggio scored one goal in the tournament, in the final from a penalty. His performances earned him a nomination for the 2001 Ballon d’Or, and he finished 25th overall in the rankings. Baggio was one of the best offensive playmakers in the league, winning the Guerin d’oro Award in 2001, awarded by the Italian sports magazine il Guerin Sportivo, to the player with the highest average rating throughout the season with at least 19 appearances. At the start of 2001–02 season, Baggio scored eight goals in the first nine matches, leading him to the top of the Serie A goalscoring table. In his eighth league appearance of the season, against Piacenza, Baggio scored a goal but later suffered an injury. A week later, against Venezia, he scored from a penalty, but he endured a more serious injury following a hard challenge which caused him to tear the ACL of his left knee, keeping him out of action for four months. He suffered a second serious injury that season, tearing the meniscus in his left knee, after returning to the team, and coming off the bench, in the Coppa Italia semi-final against Parma on 31 January 2002. He was operated on 4 February 2002 and he returned for three matches before the end of the season, making a recovery in 76 days. On 21 April 2002, in the first game after his comeback, Baggio came on as a substitute to score two goals against Fiorentina, helping Brescia win the match. He scored again against Bologna, saving Brescia from relegation on the final matchday, and bringing his seasonal tally to 11 goals in 12 Serie A matches. Despite Baggio’s performances and public demand, Italy national team head coach Giovanni Trapattoni did not deem him fully fit, prompting the coach to leave Baggio out of the final squad for the 2002 World Cup. Trapattoni also expressed concern about bringing Baggio to the World Cup due to the presence of Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero in his role, believing that this could create a rivalry between the players. After missing out on the tournament, Baggio reversed his initial decision to retire after the World Cup, expressing his intention to surpass the 200 Serie A goal mark.
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Baggio maintained a high level of performance under new coach Gianni De Biasi. Baggio managed 12 goals and 9 assists during the 2002–03 season, helping Brescia to an eighth-place finish and another UEFA Intertoto Cup spot. He scored his 300th career goal from a penalty on 15 December 2002, in Brescia’s 3–1 home victory over Perugia, also setting-up one of Igli Tare’s goals. Baggio was the first player in over 50 years to reach this milestone, and with 318 goals, he is the fourth-highest scoring Italian player in all competitions, behind only Silvio Piola, Alessandro Del Piero and Giuseppe Meazza. In the 2003–04 season, the final season of his career, Baggio recorded 12 goals and 11 assists. He scored his 200th goal in Serie A in a 2–2 draw against Parma on 14 March 2004, saving Brescia from relegation, as they finished the season in 11th place. 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. Baggio scored his final and 205th Serie A career goal on the second last matchday, in a 2–1 home win over Coppa Italia winners Lazio on 9 May 2004; he also set up Brescia’s first goal in that match. Baggio played his last career match on 16 May 2004 on the final matchday of the season at the San Siro against A.C. Milan, which ended in a 4–2 loss to the Serie A champions; during the game, he set-up Matuzalém’s second goal. In the 88th minute, De Biasi substituted Baggio, prompting the 80,000 present at the San Siro to give him a standing ovation; A.C. Milan’s captain, defender Paolo Maldini, who was Baggio’s former teammate both with the Italy national team and Milan, also embraced him before he left the pitch.
Match Worn Captain Arm Bands
“Roberto Baggio was the best Italian fantasista; he was better than Meazza and Boniperti, and he was amongst the greatest of all time, right behind Maradona, Pelé, and maybe Cruyff. Without the injury problems and the difficulties with his knees, he would have been the very best player in history” Carlo Mazzone
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Baggio always wore captain’s armband made up in the colors of his religious school, Soka Gakkai; it bore the Japanese motto: ‘We win. We must win’. He remained, though, a selective Buddhist. A meat- eater, passionate about shooting ducks. Brought up in the Alpine foothills, he justified the contradiction by saying: ‘For me hunting is a natural fact rather than a choice.’
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With Brescia, Baggio scored 46 goals in 101 appearances in all competitions, scoring 45 goals in 95 Serie A appearances, and one goal in two European matches. Baggio also made four Coppa Italia appearances with Brescia. Baggio retired as Brescia’s all-time leading goalscorer in Serie A. He ended his career with 205 goals in Serie A, making him the seventh-highest scorer of all time, behind Silvio Piola, Francesco Totti (who overtook him in 2011), Gunnar Nordahl, Giuseppe Meazza, José Altafini and Antonio Di Natale (who overtook him in 2015). Baggio’s number 10 shirt was retired by Brescia in his honour, and he is considered the club’s greatest ever player. Before Baggio had joined Brescia, they had never been able to avoid relegation after being newly promoted to Serie A, in over 40 years. During the four years under Baggio, Brescia recorded their best ever Serie A run and were never relegated.
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When the contract with Diadora expired Roberto Baggio used these hand crafted total black boots made especially for him by Akuna. Akuna is a small handcraft boots/shoes company in Ascoli Piceno. These boots were used by Roberto Baggio for several months between 2001 and 2002. Of course Roberto didn’t renounce to have his kid’s names on the heels as he was used to do for most of his career.It is and it was pretty uncommon for such a small company to make custom boots for international players like Roberto Baggio. Surely Akuna got an impressive advertising from this issue as you can see from the articles below.
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At the start of 2001–02 season, he scored eight goals in the first nine games, leading him to the top of the Serie A goalscoring table. On his eighth league appearance of the season against Piacenza, Baggio scored a goal, and later suffered an injury. A week later, against Venezia, he scored from a penalty, but he endured a more serious injury, following a hard challenge, which caused him to tear the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee, keeping him out for four months. He suffered a second serious injury that season, tearing the meniscus in his left knee, after returning to the team, and coming off the bench, in the Coppa Italia semi-final against Parma, on 31 January 2002. He was operated on 4 February 2002, and he returned three games before the end of the season, making a recovery in 76 days. On 21 April 2002, in the first game after his comeback, Baggio came on as a substitute to score two goals against Fiorentina, helping Brescia to win the match. He scored again against Bologna, saving Brescia from relegation on the final matchday, and bringing his seasonal tally to 11 goals in 12 Serie A matches. Despite Baggio’s performances, Italy’s coach, Trapattoni, did not deem him fully fit, and left him out of the final squad for the 2002 World Cup. Trapattoni also expressed concern about bringing Baggio to the World Cup due to the presence of Francesco Totti and Del Piero in his role, believing that this could create a rivalry between the players. After missing out on the tournament, Baggio reversed his initial decision to retire after the World Cup, expressing his intention to beat the 200 Serie A goal mark. For the new season 2002/2003 a new sponsorship contract was signed again with Diadora. These white boots are the first Baggio worn boots after the signature.
“Baggio on the bench? It’s something that I will never understand in my lifetime” Zinedine Zidane
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Baggio totalled 27 goals in 56 caps for his national team, making him Italy’s fourth-highest all-time goalscorer, tied with Del Piero, who managed the tally in 91 appearances. He was called up for one Italy Under-21 match in 1987 under Cesare Maldini, although he was an unused substitute, strangely failing to make an appearance for the azzurrini. His first senior International call-up was given to him by manager Azeglio Vicini, and he made his first appearance for Italy on 16 November 1988, at the age of 21, in a 1–0 friendly victory over the Netherlands, assisting Vialli’s match-winning goal. He scored his first goal for Italy on 22 April 1989, from a free kick in a 1–1 draw against Uruguay in an International friendly in Verona. Baggio made his first and only starting appearance as Italy’s captain in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification match in Glasgow, against Scotland, on 18 November 1992; he was taken off in the final minutes of the 0–0 draw due to stustaining an injured rib. He is the only Italian player ever to score in three World Cups, with a total of 9 career World Cup goals, which puts him even with Christian Vieri and Paolo Rossi as Italy’s top World Cup scorers. Despite his performances for Italy in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, he never played for Italy in a UEFA European Championship, and is currently the Italian player with the most caps to never have played in a European Championship. Baggio was not called up often for the Euro 1992 Qualification matches, only making 3 appearances and scoring 2 goals, as Italy failed to qualify for the tournament, finishing second in their qualifying group behind the Soviet Union. After the 1994 World Cup, Sacchi and Baggio infamously fell out. Their relationship deteriorated in September 1994, following a 1–1 draw against Slovenia in a Euro 1996 Qualifying match, where Baggio was benched. After a 2–1 defeat to Croatia in a Euro 96 Qualifying match in November, their relationship hit the breaking point, and Baggio, supported by his teammates, asked for the manager’s dismissal. Due to his disagreements with Sacchi, Baggio was called up to the national team less frequently, only making one more substitute appearance in a 1–0 home win against Slovenia in a Euro 96 Qualifier in September 1995; he eventually lost his spot in the squad, missing out on Italy’s Euro 1996 roster, despite winning the Scudetto with Milan. Sacchi justified his decision by stating that Baggio was not fully fit, and that Enrico Chiesa helped the team more when possession was lost. Italy were eliminated in the group stage of the competition. Baggio was also excluded from Maldini’s Italian Olympic Squad in 1996. Baggio is mainly remembered for his performances for Italy at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. After leading Italy to the final, scoring 5 goals in the process, he infamously missed the deciding penalty in the final shootout, which led to Italy losing the trophy to Brazil.
Roberto Baggio Italy National Team Farewell Game
Italy vs Spain
Match Issued Shirt
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Many fans hoped to see him play for Italy at UEFA Euro 2004, or with the 2004 Olympic squad that eventually managed a Bronze Medal, but this was not to be the case. He was, however, given an international sendoff by Trapattoni at the age of 37, in a friendly match against Spain, on 28 April 2004, in which he wore the number 10 jersey for the final time, and the captain’s armband for part of the match. Although Baggio entertained the crowd with his creativity and skill, he was unable to score, despite winning a free-kick from which Vieri’s equalising goal arose. The match finished 1–1 and Baggio was given a standing ovation upon being substituted by Fabrizio Miccoli. This was his 56th and final match for Italy, and it was the first time an Italian footballer’s career had been celebrated this way since Piola retired.
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This shirt was prepared to be used but Uefa at the end didn’t allow the team to play with this jersey with extra writing on it. A special embroidery on chest and “Grazie Roby” printed on number were not approved for an official Uefa friendly game so the team had to play with regular shirts. This shirt is still one of the rarest Italy National Team’s shirts ever.
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After his career threatening injury in 1985, Baggio, formerly a Roman Catholic, converted to Buddhism, practicing Nichiren Buddhism, and is a member of the Soka Gakkai International Buddhist organisation. Despite his conversion, 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.