Roberto Baggio was born on February 18, 1967 to his mother Matilde and his father Fiorindo, in the small Italian town of Caldogno which is located north of the city of Vicenza. His brothers and sisters are Gianna, Walter, Carla, Giorgio, Anna Maria, Nadia, and Eddy. Roberto had much freedom as a child. His father often took him to a soccer field where he stayed until late evening.
Roberto’s passion for soccer was evident. Roberto started his soccer career in his home town of Caldogno, at the age of nine. His first coach, Gian Pero Zenere, saw for the first time the greatness in Roberto. He had become a star.
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A scout named Antonio Mora persuaded Roberto to play for Vicenza, then a club in the serie C1 league. The fee was $500. The first season the coach of Vicenza was Cade, and he started the 15 year old Roberto in one C1 game. The next season, new Vicenza coach, Bruno Giorgi, used young Roberto in six league matches and he got one goal, the first professional goal of his career. On the 15th of February 1984 Roberto was called to make his first under 16 national game.
On the ninth of January Roberto played his first national juniors game. On the third day in May of 1985 Vicenza sold Roberto to Fiorentina of the serie A. The world famous ponytail was first seen on the pitch in 1987. The following year Roberto really got noticed. With such a great year, he was called up in November 1988 for his first international match. At the end of the season Roberto married Andreina, his long time girlfriend, in their hometown of Caldogno. At the end of the season, Fiorentina sold Roberto to rivals Juventus of Turin for a then record fee of 17 million dollars. Before Roberto made his first appearance for Juve, he was called to play for the Italian national team in world cup ’90 in Italy.
Roberto had a great first year in Juventus where he played in 33 matches in the 1990- 91 serie. In that same year his wife gave birth to their first child, Valentina, on December 2 1990. 1992-93 was Roberto’s best year. He also lead Juventus to the UEFA Cup in that year. It was Roberto’s first major trophy. He continued his great play the next season, 1993-94, when he got his one hundredth serie A goal vs Genoa in October. Roberto was awarded the Golden Ball trophy as Europe’s best player, and the sports writers voted Roberto Best Player in the World. His wife Andreina gave birth to their second child Mattia, in June 1994.
Then it was off to USA ’94, and Roberto lead the team that was built around him, ‘the Azzurri’, right to the finals of the World Cup, with goal after important goal for Italy. On July sixth 1995 Roberto left Juventus for an even bigger club, Milan. Roberto was on his second consecutive serie A championship winning team. On July 18 1997, Roberto signed with Bologna F.C. of the serie A. With the ponytail gone and new hope after a great international goal vs Poland.
in April of ’97 Roberto and his fans were expecting a great 1997-98 season culminating with a World Cup victory in France ’98. Unfortunately his team lost in the semi- finals against the home team, France. Roberto is still considered one of the best in the world and it is predicted he will get another chance for the world cup.