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Homage to Batistuta

A friend of mine in England sent me this link, which I am happy to share with you, on Fiorentina’s greatest player, Gabriel Batistuta – known as Batigiol.

See here  for Rob Smyth’s piece on the website of  The GuardianGABRIEL BATISTUTA

To qualify as the greatest you don’t have just have to be a phenomenal player but have a loyal association with club. Speaking to Alan Tanner, he said that for Fulham supporters there is no argument: Johnny Haynes, who played 653 games and all for the Cottagers, for Roma fans it would be Francesco Totti.

Batistuta is in my opinion the greatest striker that there has ever been but until he finished his career at Roma he never won a league title, indeed nothing at all until he won the Coppa for us in 1996. He is Argentina’s top scorer with 58’goals but never won anything for the national side either. Technically I would cite 3 reasons for my assertion. Firstly, the power of his shot; secondly the variety of way he can beat a keeper often not electing for power but placement as with the exquisite lob against Inter in the semi final of the Coppa;and thirdly his colossal aerial ability. He also had phenomenal strength which you need to survive all those seasons  in the serie a. His record of 178 goals in 318 games for Fiorentina is amongst the best. After hanging up his boots he decided to run his own construction company and suffered such intense pain from his ankles that at one stage he asked a doctor to amputate his legs.

I remember the goal against Arsenal in the video clip so well. I was standing, no one bothered with seating, at Wembley. Aldo Firicano had an immense  game in defence and broke up an attack. His pass found Enrico Chiesa who advanced into the Arsenal half. His pass went to Batigol who enticed in Nigel Winterburn and burst to the line. I thought I missed something as next thing we were all leaping in the air after a goal. It was vintage Batistuta, culminating in a fierce shot from an oblique angle. Enjoy it.


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About Stefano Ursolini

The son of a leading Florentine art dealer, Stefano initially worked in the Uffizi Gallery. He went into journalism and soon became a popular stringer writing on Tuscan wines, art and football. Stefano lives with his partner Umberto in the Santa Croce quarter of Florence. A dedicated supporter of AC Fiorentina his elegant articles on the Viola as well as the Serie A have earned him an appreciative global audience. More Posts