Saturday, March 31, 2012

Remembering Roberto Baggio 'The Divine Ponytail'

Many people have already forgotten about Il Divino Codino, the nickname given to soccer legend Roberto Baggio, but true soccer fans still dream about the many memories he gave us all during his playing career. Baggio was nicknamed Il Divino Codino-The Divine Ponytail, in part due to his trademark ponytail and for turning to Buddhism. Baggio is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, and is the only Italian soccer player to score in three World Cups. Baggio played his entire career in italy, enjoying his finest success at Juventus, where he played from 1990 until 1995. In 1993 he won his only European Club Trophy, helping Juventus to the UEFA Cup Final, in which he scored twice. His performances earned him both the European footballer of the year, and the Fifa World Player of the Year titles in 1993. However, the International Career is what Baggio is most remembered for, for the good and the bad. Baggio's first World Cup was the 1990 World Cup, and although he was mostly used as a substitute, he still managed to display his greatness, highlighted by the goal of the tournament against Czechoslovakia. In the 1994 World Cup in America, Baggio was the cornerstone for an Italian squad that made it all the way to the final. However, in the final match, with the game going into a penalty shootout, Baggio missed Italy's last penalty, as his kick went over the cross-bar, resulting in the Brazilians winning the World Cup. He was hailed as a tragical hero, despite the fact that he finished second in scoring in the tournament, and was named one of the top 3 players. Baggio played his last World Cup in 1998, scoring twice in that tournament, as Italy was eliminated in the quarterfinals against the eventual champs France. Baggio would finish his career in 2004 with little known Brescia, and played his last match for Italy on April 28th, 2004 against Spain. Roberto Baggio was remembered for his flashy style, both on and off the field, but flashy in a good sense. True soccer fans will never forget Il Divino Codino.

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