Today suddenly the urge to see Baggio struck me again. I fell in love with soccer about 13 years ago in 1990 and during that time I saw Roberto Baggio play and it was then that I became a die hard Italy supporter.
The class of that man sets him apart from every other player I have seen till date. The impossible angles he takes, his superb speed and absolute control of the ball is mesmerizing I tell you. Shit!! his goal taken from a corner when he was with Juve (Goddamn bastards relegated 'em to Serie B .. sons of bitches) was sexy. baggioo turns football into a fuckin' art form.
Many remember him today as the man who cost Italy the World Cup in 1994 when he missed that infamous penalty kick in the shootout against Brazil but those bastards forget that by that time the Italians had already lost 2 penalties and Brazil would have won any fuckin way. And even though he was not to blame the way he redeemed himself 1998 World Cup ... phew. He single handedly got Italy to the quarter finals and in the penalty shootout redeemed himself against France and what a tense moment that was. I almost pissed my pants. Ahhh a team with both Vieri and Baggio it was beautiful.
That rat bastard Trappatoni screwed us all over whne he dropped Baggio for the 2002 World Cup. I mean for personal reasons that sonofabitch did not take Baggio who had done stunningly in Serie A and took Del Piero who had been moderate (okay so Del Piero redemed himself big deal ... as soon as he redeemed himself and scored against Mexico) but then he benched Del Piero after that Vieri goal against I don't remember who. That bastard was the reason Azzurri didn't even make it to quarter fuckin finals. Sadness.
Baggio continued playing at Brescia until his retirement in 2004. He ended his career with 205 goals in Serie A, making him the fifth-highest scorer of all time behind Silvio Piola, Gunnar Nordahl, Giuseppe Meazza and José Altafini. His number 10 jersey was retired by Brescia. He scored his 300th career goal on 16th Decemeber 2002 in Brescia's 3-1 home victory over Piacenza. He is the first player in over 50 years to reach this milestone, behind only Piola (364) and Meazza (338).
Baggio totalled 27 goals in 56 caps for his national team, the fourth-highest of all time for Italy. 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.
Oh yeah did I mention that he was on Pele's top 100 best player list of all time as of 2004 and was on FIFA Dream Team of all Time released in 2002.
Il Divin Codino was the man. The Divine Ponytail was and will always be my favourite player of all time and the reason for my love of football and Italy. Respect.