Half a century with the Tail. As Roberto Baggio missed the mark and became a legend

Fatal mistake

Football is beautiful to many. Including the fact that the lifetime legend you it makes not only the success, but sometimes failure. The final of the 1994 world Cup for Italy seemed the final act of the Roman tragedy, and Baggio had the unenviable fate to play a big part. Unbearably boring for fans and incredibly tense for the players the match ended with the score 0:0. 90 minutes of regular time and an additional half an hour, the Brazilians and the Italians on the terrible California heat sang the national anthem real football discretion. And the championship was decided in the penalty shoot-out. The final fifth kick in the Italian national team volunteered to perform Bajo. Run it for sure — and his team leaves, the chances for the title, miss and you with dreams of a championship are over.

But this clumsy and inaccurate even by the standards of Rugby a shot in the Sunny skies of Pasadena turned Baggio of football stars in the living legend. The ball has not yet managed to land on the podium, and the players and coaches of Brazil national team poured on the field, celebrating success. But the Director of the broadcast did not hurry to switch the attention of the audience to the delight of Brazilians, a few seconds keeping in the shot piercing the void look Bajo. He had just made a major mistake of his life! It was in contrast, grotesquely: best player in the world by FIFA, the owner of “Golden ball” 1993, caused so clumsy blow that he would ridicule a 10-year-old boy in a football school.

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The blunder was the main drama not only of the world Cup in the USA, but also one of the most memorable moments in the history of football. And as if fate continued to mock Bajo: in all world Championships, where he took part, the Italian team has consistently flew it after an unsuccessful penalty shootout. And still Roberto to some extent, could consider himself lucky. At least he was born in the Apennines and not in Colombia. In Italy, the trip has made him a legend, who scored an own goal in the match against USA, the Colombian defender Andres Escobar returned home received six bullets at point blank range from a crazed fan.

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Another detail that Baggio is remembered by the fans, became his unchanged hair: hair, tied back in a ponytail. Low (174 cm), but very nimble and precise shot forward immediately fall in love with Florence after moving to Fiorentina in 1985. Fans of “violets,” named it one of the best forwards in the club’s history. And, as often happens in Italy, was replaced by praise for the curse after Baggio moved to Juventus. But that’s where he won the UEFA Cup and won his first Italian championship.

Roberto Baggio, 1991 Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org


In addition to the amazing statistical achievements (sixth place for number of goals in the history of the Series and fifth in the Italian national team), Baggio was known for his football longevity. He played until age 37, and even at his advanced football age continued to be one of the strongest leagues in the world Serie A. And while the last in the career of the match when he was substituted in the 88th minute, giant stadium “San Siro” in Milan, standing off to the legend of Italian and international football retirement.

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