Roby Baggio

Maybe it’s because of the spring. The sun that shines without harming, the wind that caresses without hurting, a smile that spontaneously arises enlightening the face.
Maybe it’s because of that if now Baggio looks again like a kid.
He is 31 years old and has a long career behind his shoulders.
He went through smiles, slaps, true and false friends, important and bogus awards.
He was adored, flattered and suddenly maltreated.
Things that help to eventually understand how similar is the football environment to the big World out there. Maybe even more complicated because everything involves pressure and produces outcry.
Joys are greater and sorrows are deeper.
Real friends are rarer and words sound often too light.
Roberto finally realized that.
Inside such a world he matured and became one of those men who seldom waste their breath.
Nevertheless there’s a sort of mistery behind his still young and curious eyes.
A mission to accomplish, a challenge to win.
He starts telling us about that light in his eyes while his Labrador Miele (Honey) aims at some ducks inside the public park’s pond behind Roberto’s house.
“Every time we come here I must keep it on a lead otherwise it would make a massacre”.
Once again he shows his cheerful smile and his big desire to tell.
In Bologna many claims that Baggio finally recovered his 20 years old shape.
“Yes, this is what our trainer De Maiti says. What can I add? Just that I feel very good.
I finally had a complete, without pressure, training over the summer and these are the results.
The best part is that I have been feeling so well for months by now, like I hadn’t since long time ago”.
Roberto Baggio found football’s cheerfulness again.
“I think that having fun is fundamental to play football. I have fun and when you are happy you never feel tired”.


HIS RENASCENCE



Bologna meant a change of pace. After the World Cup in 1994 Baggio hadn’t been playing other so good seasons. Numbers talk: more games, more goals, better performances.
In short it looks like he made the right move.
“This is one of my best seasons ever. I basically missed the first season after the 1994 World Cup because of an injury that kept me far from the field for more than 3 months. Then I spent the rest of the season struggling to recover a good condition.
The next year I went to Milan. Once again a new place where to start everything from the beginning.
Nevertheless I won another Italian Championship.
Last season then revealed itself to be the hardest one ever for me.
At the beginning Tabarez considered me as an untouchable starter but shortafter things changed and we all know what happened.
Now it is useless to recall bygone days but Milan’s season degenerated, Sacchi replaced Tabarez and I had less and less opportunities to play.
I felt I needed to move somewhere else to recover my best condition and I succeeded here in Bologna”.
Where there is less pressure. Maybe this is what he basically needed.
“I needed some tranquillity. I needed to train serenely and to play with more continuity, recovering those sensations that I hadn’t been feeling for a long time”.
Someone interpreted Baggio’s move to Bologna as an attempt to escape from the top of the Italian football.
“You can’t please everybody. When you make a choice there is always someone who agrees with you and someone else who doesn’t.
I don’t regret my choice because I just found what I was looking for.
Now I play many more minutes and I train much better during the week.
I couldn’t ask for anything better than this”.
At the beginning Baggio meant for Bologna just a sound investment able to lead the Club to sell 27thousand season tickets and to be eventually quoted on the stock exchange.
However President Gazzoni grew fond of him and now he doesn’t like the idea to give up his Champion.
“That makes me very happy. Gazzoni has always showed his affection for me. Obviously he also needs to reason in terms of buisness and he needs to get financial results from this operation, but he always proved to esteem me, even before I signed with Bologna”.
Bologna became for Baggio a sort of warm blanket to wind round himself. Cuddled, loved, revered.
Bologna gave him the affection he needed to revive, he repaid Bologna by bringing it back to the great football.
“I feel really good in Bologna but this is kind of normal for me. I always get along with people. I did it in Florence, in Turin and in Milan. Here then I recovered my best shape and this is a joy that I’m happy to share with my fans. I really thank Bologna, because here I feel great”.
Many claims that it’s hard to leave this city after knowing it. Is it the same for you?
“I guess so. I knew about this eventuality and I have to admit that it is true”.
You have a 3-year contract but there is a clause that allows you to leave at the end of the season.
It is pretty clear that your main concern is the next World Cup in France.
“I was given the opportunity to play abroad where I was offered exceptional financial conditions but everybody knows which was my main goal.
I think that if I went to play abroad my career with the National Team would be definitively over.
To play with the National Team you must stay here, fighting, suffering and toiling in the Italian Championship.



A LONGING FOR BLUE

–This is the story of 3 World Championships.
In 1990, in Italy, Roberto Baggio was already a star.
In 1994, in the U.S., his greatness got the final seal but shortafter he went through a huge sorrow.
In 1998, in France, who knows what surprises the future keeps for this Champion who still has faith.
“I don’t know, and right now I can’t think about it. Before that I need to be sure that I’ll be there”.
As a matter of fact there’s a sort of wind that blows, pushing him through the media.
From pop Tv shows like “Domenica Inî to the Internet.
Even the main Italian financial newspaper “Sole 24 Oreî wrote about Roberto Baggio and asked for him to play the next World Cup.
“Obviously that makes me happy but I have always achieved my goals just through my commitment and work. It’s nice when so many people support you but the final result comes only if you can give your best”.
The reason because so many people want to see Baggio playing with the National Team is that Roberto already materialized a lot of dreams for the Italian fans.
“Nobody owes me anything. I share the same dream of my fans. We have been running to the same goal for many years”.
How close is that goal now?
“I don’t know but I have been toiling very hard to achieve it”.
It sounds like also Platini wants you to the World Cup.
“Being esteemed by one of the greatest ever like him is a huge satisfaction.
However I understand that Maldini won’t decide because of those advice.
I can prove him my effectiveness only through my own performances”.
What memories do you have about the National Team?
Is there anyone of them which is worth of being brushed up every once in awhile?
“Maybe the goal I scored the 30th of April 1997 in Napoli, because it was like people expected it and because it has been the last one so far.
However I should say that I enjoyed my entire experience with the National Team.
I only regret that damned final penalty against Brazil in 1994. A great chance wasted.
That’s definitely my worst memory”.
A memory to forget.
“It’s a scar that I can’t hide. It’s painful to lose because of the penalty kicks after 4 years of hard work”.
Nevertheless that World Championship gave Baggio also some good feeling since he emerged as one of the main protagonists.
“The start wasn’t easy but game after game we harvested the fruits of our hard work. It was a great experience with an unlucky ending”.
The final against Brazil seemed to be written by the destiny for a kid who was crazy about Zico.
“I think that any kid playing in his backyard dreams to win a final against Brazil someday.
I got very close to my dream but it didn’t come true”.
Other memories about that game.
Many claimed that after the semifinal versus Bulgaria, Baggio had played with his heart but without being in good shape.
“It is true that I had some problem but that affected my final game very little.
Other factors conditioned us.
Especially the heat and a weird schedule.
After the semifinal we had a 5 hour flight to Los Angeles and just after 48 hours we had to play against Brazil that had been playing the entire tournament there.
So they were already accustomed to such a climate.
They had all the advantages but nevertheless we lost only after the penalty kicks”.
Baggio would like to be back to accomplish another masterpiece in his career.
What would you give to play the next World Cup?
“I’m doing all I can to get there. I’m giving my best.
However I still don’t know if I’ll succeed”.
What do you think you could add to the Italian National Team?
“It’s tough to explain but that loss against Brazil is still in my mind and gives me a special charge.
I can’t forget that day, it was like being swept away by an avalanche after a very hard climb that brings you a few feet away from the top of the mountain.
However I didn’t resign and I still want to change my destiny”.
What Baggio needs it’s a telephone call by Cesare Maldini.
“It’s not up to me. As I already said I can just work hard and prove my potential through my performances”.
It’s a very strange fable. The star who is forced to wander throughout the football world in search of a way to cover up his painful memories.
Almost like the Italian National Team itself that has been looking for another title for as many as 16 years, after the World Cup won in Spain in 1982.
By the way how did you celebrate, at the age of 15, that wonderful success?
“Wandering all around Vicenza with my friends and a big Italian flag.
That was an unbelievable night and we didn’t go to sleep until 5am”.

IN PRAISE OF NORMALITY

Being Roberto Baggio and a normal boy at the same time it’s not so easy.
“Well it’s not difficult for me.
I’m exactly like people can see me.
I guess this is my strenght.
I don’t feel different from a bricklayer or a worker.
I’m just luckier and probably more rewarded but I’m not different.
My morals are still the same I had when I was unknown.
Someday my career will be over and I’ll be again the same normal guy I was before becoming famous”.
–Do you regret a normal life?
“Actually I have a normal life. I walk in the street and I frequent people and places that I like.
Lately someone wrote that I haven’t seen the “Two Towersî (famous monuments of Bologna) yet.
That is not true.
Obviously it’s hard for me to go unnoticed, but that doesn’t bother me”.
Roberto grew up with strong morals. First of all his family.
“I have as many as 8 brothers, I learned how important is to love people and to prove it”.
Roberto strongly fight to protect his privacy from his public life.
“I accept to be criticized and judged about my professional life but I want to save my privacy.
I don’t want my family to be involved in polemics and controversies that concern only my job”.
Baggio’s wife Andreina is a quiet and self-confident woman, with a sweet, graceful face.
They fell in love when they were still very young.
Has your happiness been growing up along with you?
“I would say yes. Andreina is a fundamental presence in my life.
I think that women are the pillars that bear our families.
Especially for those men who have so many goals, pressures, and are always in the spotlight, I think it’s necessary to have a woman able to give them some tranquillity and balance.
Andreina makes my life more regular and less frantic”.
Baggio has two children Valentina and Mattia. It’s their job to initiate Roberto into a new life as a father.
“I can’t even find the right words to express what they mean to me.
If I could I would eat them to show how much I love them.
Children are the joy of life, the naivety.
I don’t know how some people can make them suffer.
I don’t know what kind of father I’m going to be, I just hope to be fair and if I’ll make some mistake I hope it not to be irreparable”.
Valentina was born in 1990, Mattia in 1994.
If Maldini gave Roberto the opportunity to play another World Cup, he and Andreina could celebrate by conceiving another child.
“For goodness’ sake! If Andreina heard you, she wouldn’t show up for awhile”.
Famous people often have problems to find sincere friends.
Do you still have true friends?
“It’s hard for anybody to find good friends and it’s even harder if you live in football, where everything is play and illusion.
You always risk to be surrounded by opportunists in search of benefits”.


HARD TIMES FOR IMAGINATION


Is it true that there’s not room for imagination in football anymore?
“Football is changed. Strategies look to be more important today.
Sometimes a player’s creativity risks to be beyond the bounds and that bothers someone”.
But people still want to have fun at the stadium...
“Don’t tell me. I completely agree”.
That’s a good sign because it means that there will be forever some space for talents like you.
“I hope so. Football is more than just strategies and rules.
Football it’s never the same.
Every goal is unique and you can never predict for sure who’s going to win the next Championship”.
No matter who’s going to be the next coach, Bologna’s fans don’t want you to leave.
However many Clubs are trying to lure you.
“I told you. I feel great here. I have a long contract but there’s a clause.
I have already talked with Gazzoni about it.
I’ll make my choice at the end of the season. It will depend on many things.
It will depend on my mood and motivations”.
And it will depend on the next Wold Cup.
“Sure. That’s my goal for this season”.
Only for this season?
“Well that’s probably the goal of my entire career. I want to achieve what I just missed four years ago”.
Then what is going to happen?
“The door will be still open and I could even stay here”.
Otherwise you could leave to play abroad.
Either in Japan, where they would go crazy for you or in Brazil, a dream for someone with your imagination”.
“They are asking for me and that makes me very happy. However, right now, I just want to focus on the main goal. Afterwards I’ll make my choice”.


A BRAVE CHALLENGE

Staying in Italy and aiming at the the World Cup in France. That’s probably the best way to remain Roberto Baggio.
“I think I made a pretty brave choice because playing in Italy is not easy and being a protagonist for a long time is even harder. I could move somewhere else, in some easier League, to show my talent.
But I wanted to stay in Italy. This is the challenge I wanted to face”.
Baggio means football all around the world. Isn’t it a nice feeling?
“It’s wonderful. I was lucky to succeed in a job that I like and that still amuses me.
All this affection that people show for me makes me think that I have probably been able to give something in exchange. It’s a matter of respect and gratefulness. I was given a great opportunity and I tried to deserve it”.
What kind of rights and duties does a role-model like you have?
“It’s not simple. It’s a tough responsibility. You can make mistakes neither in your public nor in your private life. You are a model, especially for kids, and everything you do is going to be amplified.
You must try to remain yourself and avoid both exaggerations and compromises”.
You must be tough and tender at the same time.
“More or less. You must be simple”.
It’s not simple to be simple.
“I don’t think so. You just need to love yourself and people around you.
You must realize how many bad consequences a wrong behaviour can produce”.
Do you feel in credit with football?
“I gave all my best to this profession and my conscience is clear.
I feel like a sailor who went through many oceans, facing some storm but also seeing wonderful places”.
However there is still a missing piece.
“There will be forever some missing piece because after awhile you realize that even if your name is Roberto Baggio you can’t achieve everything”.
No anger, no revenge?
“If you give your best, results are not everything.
I gave my commitment and my hard work, so I don’t have any revenge to take.
The only challenge I have is with myself.
I want to give all I can before giving up”.
When will we see a new Roberto Baggio?
“There will be other players in the heart of the fans.
Even better players than me.
However there won’t be another Baggio, and we won’t have another Maradona or another Van Basten.
Every player has his own personality and attitude. Every player is unique”.

THE LAST CHANCE

Is really the World Cup your last dream before quitting?
“This is going to be my last chance. In 2002 I’m going to be 35 and I don’t think I’ll have another opportunity. This is my greatest chance and I want to take a shot”.
Do you want to say anything to all those fans who are strongly asking Maldini to call you for the next World Cup?
“Just thanks for everything. For their affection, esteem and support.
Their dream is my dream”.
Meanwhile Miele stops aiming at ducks in the pond and lies down close to Roberto.
It’s clear that it wants to go back home.
Roberto takes Andreina by the hand and they quietly run straight back into their world.
A friendly greeting and an open smile. The door slowly closes.
Behind that door there’s a happy family with its own feelings. There’s a champion with his history. There’s his past, his present and his future. There’s Roberto Baggio, a 31 years old boy who has the right to foster his dream. The dream of all of those who love football.
A so wonderful dream that we’d better talk about it in a low voice because it is said that dreams need silence to come true.

Baggio's music

The music that changes your life and drives your destiny.
The song that brands the most significant steps of your existence.
A song that maybe is not very well known but it is so important for those who have been listening, living and singing it through the jukebox of their own memory.
It happens to everybody, it happened also to Roberto Baggio who over the last 31 years has been collecting the song of his first love, the song of his most important friendships, and maybe the song of his first goal and the song of his first match with the national team.
Roberto told his musical emotions a few weeks ago through the microphones of “Radio Due”, where he was asked to play a disc-jockey during the Show “Vip Parade”, and he lined up the 10 songs that mainly branded his life.
The first one is “Hotel California” of the “Eagles”.
The most significant song of his entire life.
ìIt reminds me my family and my origins. I used to listen to it with my seven brothers inside a very small room that looked like a disco.
We listened to it so often that we finally consumed both the record and the needle.
Then the great John Lennon and two immortal songs like “Imagine” and “Stand by me”.
Roberto also likes the Guns’n Roses (especially the song “November Rain”) and the Irish “U2” (especially the song “So Cruel”).
(Even if that song reminds him the first game played and lost againt Ireland, during the 1994 World Cup in the U.S., exactly in front of the band’s leader Bono).
Among the American singers, Roberto has a weakness for Prince and Bruce Springsteen.
The “Gipsy Kings” (he especially likes “Hablame”) remind him his fondness for the Spanish-American world (Argentina, pampas etc.).
With his son Mattia, Roberto shares a great love for cartoons and for the soundtrack of the movie ìThe last of the Mohicansî, maybe because nowadays he feels himself like a fine and rare specimen to protect.
Among the Italian songs he picks “Così Celeste” performed by Zucchero and Pavarotti (who is a great fan of Baggio).
Roberto also recalls a not very famous song of Renato Zero (“Accadde”) that holds a special meaning for him. Especially that excerpt that talks about friendship and tells how you can easily get deluded if your feelings are honest: “When you win everybody is there/but later you’ll pay dearly for your loyalty”.
“I was immediately struck by those words because they sounded so true and personal.
I happened many times to deal with opportunistic people.
With my name and my notoriety I struggled many times to identify some sincere friend.
I also experienced some tough disappointment but I guess that happens to everybody.
True friends are so hard to find”.

 

Baggio's family


Roberto claims that Andreina is everything. Balance, confidence, tranquillity.
She is married with a champion beloved all around the world but she learned to love the man beyond the champion.
The same, unchanged man that she began to date in Vicenza when nobody stopped, greeted and asked for touching “the football talent” yet.
We have been growing up together and together we have changed.
“We were two kids, and together we built a family”.
It’s beautiful but also hard to live with a man called Roberto Baggio.
“In general it’s not easy to be married with a football player. I still remember the first times he was in Turin and I was pregnant of Valentina.
I had to continually drive to and fro between Vicenza and Turin and it was very tough.
In Milan it was a little easier.
Bologna? Well Bologna reminds me Vicenza. I feel like at home.
Also Roberto is happy and serene.
We have been together for a so long time that, by now, we know how to keep our balance, giving the right weight to any matter.
I have always been loving Roberto as a man, even when he wasn’t in the spotlight yet.
And Roberto as a man is still the same.
A simple champion with his joys and his sorrows.
Andreina was there in 1994, when Roberto missed that damn penalty and Italy was defeated by Brazil in the final of the World Cup in the U.S..
That penalty became a nightmare.
“What a irresponsability!!! Mattia was born just one month before and I left him to my mother.
I didn’t want to leave Roberto alone.
Actually we were given a very few opportunities to meet because he was with the team in New Jersey and I was alone in a huge metropolis like New York. I didn’t even know the language”.
Until the night after the final match and the consequent anger.
“That night Robeto stayed in his room while his teammates went out for dinner with their families. He felt mortified.
That was a very bad moment for us but, together, we got over it”.
The greatest joy in Baggio’s house are Valentina and Mattia.
“Roberto would watch cartoons with them for hours. He is a very quiet man and Bologna helped him to recover his serenity”.

Baggio's date

February 18th, 1967: Baggio was born in Caldogno (Vicenza). He is the 6th of 8 children for his father Florindo and his mother Matilde.
1981: Marked out by Vicenza’s scout Antonio Moro and promoted by the former fullback Giulio Savoini (who later will nickname him as “Zico”), Roberto signed with Vicenza for 500 thousand Italian Lira.
February 1982: During the juvenile match between Veneto and Liguria, his left knee got injured and his meniscus was removed in Vicenza by Professor Viola.
Summer 1982: He met for the first time in Caldogno, Andreina Fabbi, who later will become his wife. They are the same age (she was born the 30th of November 1967).
June 5th, 1983: Baggio made his debut as a professional player. (Vicenza-Piacenza-0-1).
February15th, 1984: Roberto made his first appearance with the National Team Under 16 (Italia-Jugoslavia-1-1).
Jenuary 9th, 1985: He made his debut with the Juniores National Team during the match Italia-Greece-3-0 and he even scored one goal.
May 3th, 1985: Assisted by his agent Antonio Caliendo, Baggio signed with Fiorentina for almost 3 thousand millions of Italian Lira.
May 5th ,1985: During Rimini-Vicenza he broke his right knee’s ligaments.
June 5th ,1985: He was operated in Saint-Etienne (Fra) by Professor Bousquet.
Jenuary 29th, 1986: He made his debut with Fiorentina in the Italy Cup. (Fiorentina-Udinese-3-1).
September 3rd ,1986: Still during an Italy Cup game, Roberto scored his first 2 goals for Fiorentina. (Fiorentina-Empoli-2-1).
September 17th , 1986: Baggio made his debut in the UEFA Cup (Fiorentina-Boavista-1-0).
September 21th, 1986: He made his debut in Serie A (Fiorentina-Sampdoria-2-0).
September 25th,1986: Once again he got injured on his right knee during a training.
December 6th,1986: He came back for a friendly math versus Sion (Switzerland).
December 11th , 1986: His right knee’s meniscus got injured.
December 18th,1986: He was again operated in Saint-Etienne by Professor Bousquet.
April 2nd, 1987: Once again he began his re-education in Formia, assisted by Professors Vittori and Locatelli, experts of track-and-field sports.
April 23th, 1987: He came back by playing a friendly match versus Vaiano.
April 26th, 1987: He came back in the Italian Championship by replacing Di Chiara with 15 minutes left during Inter-Fiorentina-1-0.
May 10th,1987: Roberto scored his first goal in Serie A. (Napoli-Fiorentina-1-1).
September 20th, 1987: Fiorentina won on the road against the next Italian Champion Milan and Baggio scored the second goal after a wondrful dribbling through the red and black defense. A new star was born.
October 5th, 1987: He caimed, through a written statement, that during the game Empoli-Fiorentina he heard his opponents inviting their teammate Brambati to play tough and break Baggio’s legs.
March 1988: Pushed by a friend and by the stress, Baggio started approaching Buddhism.
September 16th, 1988: He made his debut with the major National Team in Rome. (Italia-Holland-1-0). The coach was Azeglio Vicini.
July 1th , 1988: He got married with Andreina in Caldogno.
November 30th 1989: 2 hundred young fans gather in front of his house asking him to sign a new contract and stay with Fiorentina. Among the fans in the street he claims: “I’m going to stay but only if the management signes other good players and makes Fiorentina more competitive.”
Jenuary 18th, 1980: Rumours spreaded about Baggio being traded to Juventus but he says: “I don’t want to go to Juventus, should I write it on the walls of the city?”
May 17th, 1990: Roumours about him being traded to Juventus increased and fans pelted Fiorentina’s offices with stones.
They also assaulted the National Team that was training in Coverciano for the following World Cup.
May 18th, 1990: At 1:48 pm his trade to Juventus in exchange of Buso and 16 thousand millions of Italian Lira was made official. Baggio will get more than 2 thousand millions of Italian Lira per year, and his agent Antonio Caliendo 2 thousand millions of Italian Lira.
Baggio claimed: “I wanted to stay in Florence and I did my best to succeed, but Pontello (who was Fiorentina’s Owner) didn’t make any offer to me.”
However the next day Pontello himself replied: “Even this morning we offered Baggio one thousand million of Italian Lira per year but he had already signed with Juventus yesterday.”
In the streets around Fiorentina’s offices serious turmoils exploded.
Many people were injured and arrested.
June 19th, 1990: For the first time during the World Cup, Azeglio Vicini lined up Baggio along with Schillaci and the two players scored 2 crucial goals that led Italy over Czechoslovakia.
With a magical dribbling throughout the field, Baggio reminded Zico and scored one of the best goals of the entire tournament.
July 3rd, 1990: Vicini surprisingly left Baggio on the bench and lined up Vialli. After the penalty kicks Italy was defeated by Argentina and eliminated from the World Cup.
December 2nd, 1990: His dughter Valentina was born.
June 5th,1983: During a Brio’s party in Montecatini, Platini stated: “To me Baggio is a great number 9 and half.
I mean he is not a true number 9 because he is not a real striker but he is not even a true number 10 because he is not a pure playmaker.”
March 20th,1991: After the game Juventus-Standard Liegi (3-0), (Cup of Cups), Roberto threw his jersey to the Juventus’ fans crowded in the stands.
However afew days later, before Fiorentina-Juventus, during an interview with “Radio Blu”, he revealed:”I was requested to do that. I had to throw my jersey to avoid further problems. I still miss Florence and his atmosphere.”
April 7th, 1991: During the match Fiorentina-Juventus, Baggio was given a penalty kick because of a Salvatori’s foul, but at the same time he refused to kick the penalty himself.
De Agostini did it but missed the goal.
Replaced by Maifredi, Roberto picked up a Fiorentina’s scarf thrown from the stands.
June 3rd, 1991: Baggio was denounced for damaging some field of corn and lucerne with his father in law Claudio Fabbi, during a nocturnal excursion with a Range Rover, “to find some hare”.
September 27th, 1991: Baggio left the training-camp in Orbassano with a bleeding nose. Rumours spread that his teammate Schillaci would hit him after an animated discussion in the locker-room. Both Roberto and Schillaci denied.
NOVEMBER 1991: Trapattoni decided to utilize him as a midfielder and his performances began to worsen.
DECEMBER 21st, 1991: While many talked about Baggio’s decline, Sacchi decided to relaunch him by calling Roberto to play with the national team in Foggia. (Italy-Cyprus-2-0).
OCTOBER 30th,1992: After new polemics about Baggio’s role, Trapattoni stated: “From now on I’m going to use Roberto as a forward, like he plays with the national team”.
May 19th, 1993: Baggio led Juventus to win the UEFA Cup and emerged as the main protagonist by scoring as many as 6 goal during the tournament.
October 31st, 1993: Roberto achieved his 100th goal in Serie A, by scoring as many as 3 goals versus Genoa (Juventus-Genoa-4-0).
December 24th, 1993: Baggio won the “Golden Football” as the best Euopean player of the season.
May 12th,1994: His second son Mattia was born.
June 30th, 1994: Giovanni Agnelli slashed him during the World Cup: “I saw Baggio befor Italy-Mexico. He looked like a soaked rabbit.”
Shortafter, however, Baggio’s goals led Italy to win over Nigeria, Spain and Bulgaria and to achieve the final versus Brazil.
July 17th,1994: Roberto missed the decisive penalty-kick verus Brazil.
November 27th, 1994: During Padova-Juventus (1-2), he scored a brilliant goal but shortafter his right knee got injured again.
He wasn’t operated but stayed far from the field until March 12th,1995. (Juventus-Foggia-2-0, he scored one goal).
May 21st, 1995: He won the Italian Championship with Juventus.
May 29th, 1995: Inter’s Pesident Massimo Moratti stated: “ With the help of the friendship and the esteem that tie Agnelli’s family with mine, we agreed to transfer Baggio from Juventus to Inter.
Now it’s up to Roberto, but I can’t believe that someone could reject our rich in tradition Club.”
June 1st, 1995: Baggio announced his clamorous divorce from Juventus: “I can’t forget how disgracefully I was treated by Juventus' ‘Managers. They offered me around damaging my image. They just want to get as many billions as possible to become more competitive in the football market.
Now even if they offered me a double pay I would refuse.
July 1st, 1995: A hundred fans demonstrated in front of Juventus’ offices asking for Baggio to be retained.
July sth, 1995: Baggio was traded to Milan for 19 thousand millions of Italian Lira.
September 6th, 1995: Sacchi kept him on the bench during Italy-Slovenia (1-0) at Udine. Roberto played only the last 30 minutes of the game by replacing Zola.
April 28th, 1996: Baggio won another Italian Championship with Milan.
August 13th, 1996: He came back in a great shape from his vacation and after scoring the first goals he stated: “The new position conceived by Tabarez fits me perfectly. I really enjoy playing a little behind the two forwards.”
September 6th, 1996: Milan’s President Berlusconi encouraged Baggio: “This is going to be Roberto’s season”.
September 11th, 1996: Baggio made his debut in Champions League versus Porto.
Milan lost 2-3 and was eventually eliminated by Rosemborg.
September 14th, 1996: Tabarez benched Baggio for the match against Sampdoria: “Baggio has some problem with his ankle, but he won’t play just because of strategical reasons. I need more defensive balance.”
Milan lost 2-1.
December 2nd, 1996: After losing versus Piacenza, Milan fired Tabarez and called Arrigo Sacchi, who had been having a very difficult relatinship with Baggio since the famous substitution against Norway.
Like jumping out of the frying-pan into the fire.
December 15th, 1996: Tired of being benched Baggio started looking for another team.
Still annoyed by Baggio’s recent refusal, Inter’s President Moratti stated: “I don’t think that we’ll ever see Baggio playing for Inter”.
December 27th, 1996: Baggio’s unlucky moment worsened when he found out to be the victim of a billionaire fraud.
The buisness man who pushed him to invest money in a phantom Peruvian quarry was arrested.
Jenuary 22th, 1997: Milan was about to be wrecked and Arrigo accused Baggio of ingratitude.
Roberto replied: “Every time he gave me a chanche I managed to repay him, so we are quits”.
February 15th, 1997: He was interrogated by the customs officers for the fraud concerning the Peruvian quarry.
He stated: “I don’t know anything”.
April 30th, 1997: He came back to the National Team by replacing Zola during the second half of the game versus Poland for the preliminary heats of the World Cup.
After 11 minutes he overcame the entire Polish defense and scored a great goal, leading Italy to the final 3-0.
Napoli’s people dedicated him a standing-ovation.
July 10th, 1997: Sogliano was about to bring Baggio to Parma but Ancelotti suddenly stated: “We don’t need Baggio. If he comes he will have to struggle to play because Chiesa and Crespo are the starters.”
July 12th, 1997: Bologna came forward and Ulivieri said: “It’s an our President’s project but if Baggio comes I’ll be glad to coach him. I have problems only when I have to coach weak players.”
July 13th, 1997: New Milan’s coach Capello dumped Baggio by stating: “We are going to start a renewal policy and for a 30 years old player like Roberto could be hard to find some room. He’d better look for other options.”
July 19th, 1997: Bologna acquired him for more than 5 thousand millions of Italian Lira and he signed a contract worth of of 3 thousand millions of Italian Lira per year.
After just a few days Bologna sold more than 27 thousand season tickets. A new record.
August 2nd, 1997: Tony Blair, who was in Italy for the 17th anniversary of the Bologna station’s slaughter, asked for Baggio’s jersey and autograph.
August 17th, 1997: Baggio changed his traditional look by cutting his famous pigtail.
November 2nd, 1997: During Bologna-Napoli (5-1) he scored 3 goals and the crowd dedicated him a new ovation.
December 21st, 1997: For the first time he was benched and played only the last 20 minutes of the game versus Milan (0-0).
Jenuary 11th, 1998:He played his 300th match in Serie A. (Empoli-Bologna).
Jenuary 18th, 1998: He refused to stay on the bench for the game versus Juventus (Bologna-Juventus-1-3).
He left his teammates and went back home.
The controversy between him and Ulivieri was resolved after 3 days of feverish negotiations.

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