Roberto Baggio

"Roberto Baggio"
I'm pretty sure Roberto Baggio needs no introduction to anyone reading this, but I still think he had an interesting career all-round, so I decided to write up this short Roberto Baggio biography.
One of the things I noticed in my studies for this biography is that Roberto Baggio is equally well known in the United States as he is in Europe. Almost no other European soccer player achieved this status, except maybe those that played in US at the end of their career, such as Franz Beckenbauer, Jurgen Klinsmann or more recently, David Beckham.

The explanation is simple: he was one of the heroes of the 1994 World Cup held in the United States and his charm, good gameplay and openness to the public gave him this boost in popularity in all parts of the World. But before we get to the 1994 moment, let's see where this magnificent player chiseled his soccer skills.
Roberto Baggio Biography – Vicenza
Born in a small town near the city of Vicenza, Roberto Baggio was spotted as a future talent early on and he signed with the Vicenza team, who was playing in the third Italian division at that time, when he was only 15 years of age. It's here that he learned the basics of soccer and got accustomed to professionalism and by the time he was 18, he was already on the shortlist of Fiorentina, one of the powers in Serie A (the first Italian division) at that time.
Roberto Baggio Biography – Fiorentina
Although not playing in the first few months at Fiorentina, after one season of getting used to the high air of the Serie A, Baggio was finally given the chance to enter the pitch on September the 1st, 1986. Although his first 2 seasons he wasn’t really a first team regular, over the next 3 he would spend at Fiorentina, he will have one of the biggest boosts of his career, becoming an idol for the fans and one of the most feared strikers in Italy.
This great form brought him in the eyes of the national team staff, but also attracted huge offers for him from bigger, wealthier clubs throughout Europe. In 1990, Italian champions Juventus Torino faxed Fiorentina an offer for Baggio that they and the player could not resist: $20 million, the biggest sum paid for a soccer player at that time.
Roberto Baggio Biography – Juventus
In the 5 seasons played for Juventus, Roberto Baggio was more prolific than ever, scoring almost 80 goals in 141 matches, a feat that's even more important considering it was achieved in the most defensive championship of the World.
But the achievements at Juventus weren't all that great, with the team having a rather low form compared to what was about to follow for the Torino club. He only managed to win the Championship once with Juve, in 1995 when he also won his first and only Italian Cup. 1993 also brought him his only European cup success, as he won the UEFA Cup with his team.
This period was actually his best, as he won the UEFA Cup in 1993, was named FIFA World Player of the Year and World Footballer of the Year as well and qualified Italy's national side to the 1994 World Cup.


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