Roberto Baggio, the Divin Codino champion of humanity

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«Roberto Baggio he won the Ballon d’Or in 1993. Upon hearing the news he did not tell his wife that he had won one of the greatest awards for a footballer, but said they could go to Disneyland with his daughter Valentina. Only later did he explain that the trip to Paris was to collect the Ballon d’Or ». This story by Claudio Moretti, author of Roberto Baggio. The divine pigtail. The story of a champion on and off the pitch, published by Newton Compton, to tell the diversity of one of the most loved footballers of all time.

«It is the man who brings to the field the human qualities that make him a champion. The shots are not enough to be a champion. It takes the soul. And Baggio in particular was so loved for his humanity and for his ability to tell about his frailties »adds Moretti, author of the television program Challenges for ten years.

Already in an interview in the early nineties he said that they would find him on a tractor and his images in the countryside have made headlines in recent months. «He already had this horizon very clear and he returned to the land in the Vicenza area as well as in his estate in Argentina. He loved going to Lomellina to go hunting and eat out. He did not go to the Maldives, but to sandblast in Grado when he went on vacation ».

As a young man, before a bad injury, he was a great athletic champion. After that he could no longer bet on that, but thanks to his musculature he was able to live for many years with a battered knee. «He was twenty years ahead, a footballer who knew how to do everything. He had sensed years in advance that ball possession was the key to a certain type of game that Guardiola then led to success in getting talented players to stay on the pitch. He was able to score, to dribble, to make assists ».

Baggio was loved wherever he went, despite the change of shirt which is usually seen as a betrayal. “He didn’t want to leave Florence, but I have to do it for reasons of contracts and prosecutors, partly a victim of this system. In Milan, where he gave little in terms of victories, he was loved by the fans. The national team was the culmination of this. He was the symbol in the blue jersey ».

«That of the wrong penalty in the final at USA 94 is an image that is also present in his human being, the“ loser ”. Fragility is one of its characteristics. But there is also love in this story. His wife, a relationship that has been going on since they were kids, joined him during the world championship. “Together we will overcome it” he told him after the failed penalty ».

Roberto Baggio was years ahead, but he was tied to football ten years before him. This is demonstrated by his emotion at the funeral of Paolo Rossi. “He grew up with that myth. Both mild people, never over the top ».

The relationship with the coaches has often been problematic: it took away the light from the technicians at a time when they didn’t know where to play the numbers 10 in the 4-4-2 form. Who was exiled in attack and who ended up in the wings. «He got on well with Simoni at Inter. Di Capello appreciated that it was direct. He did not find himself with Sacchi and Lippi. Carlo Mazzone exalted and loved him. When Brescia took Baggio he told the others that someone different from them was coming. He cultivated the diversity of Baggio. From different he could give something more ».

«There are two, from two world championships. When he lets himself go to earth after the goal against Czechoslovakia at Italy 90. There is all his passion and his art. Since 1994 he has been crying after the semifinal with Bulgaria where he scored two beautiful goals, but has a pain in his thigh. There is Gigi Riva who embraces him ».

From 26 May on the platform Netflix it’s available The Divine Codino, film dedicated to the story of Roberto Baggio directed by Letizia Lamartire. The actor Andrea Arcangeli plays the role of the champion.

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