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Gabriel Batistuta

Thursday, January 3, 2008 ·


Gabriel Batistuta
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Gabriel Batistuta
Personal information
Full name Gabriel Omar Batistuta
Date of birth February 1, 1969 (1969-02-01) (age 38)
Place of birth Reconquista, Argentina
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth clubs
Newell's Old Boys
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1988-1989
1989-1990
1990-1991
1991-2000
2000-2003
2003
2003-2005 Newell's Old Boys
River Plate
Boca Juniors
Fiorentina
AS Roma
Internazionale (loan)
Al Arabi
Total 024 00(7)
021 00(4)
034 0(13)
269 (168)
063 0(30)
012 00(2)
018 0(25)
0441 0(249)
National team
1991-2002 Argentina 078 0(56)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Gabriel Omar Batistuta (born February 1, 1969), nicknamed Batigol, is a former professional footballer. The prolific Argentine striker played most of his club football at ACF Fiorentina in Italy, and he is the eighth top scorer of all time in the Italian Serie A league, with 184 goals in 318 matches between 1991 and 2003. On the international level, he is the all-time highest scorer for Argentina's national team, with 56 goals in 78 national team matches, and he represented his country at three FIFA World Cups. In 2004, he was named in the FIFA 100 list of the "125 Greatest Living Footballers".

When his club Fiorentina was relegated to Serie B in 1993, Batistuta stayed with the club and helped it return to the top-flight league a year later. A hero in Florence, the Fiorentina fans erected a life-size bronze statue of him in 1996, in recognition of his performances for Fiorentina. He never won the Italian league with Fiorentina, but when he moved to AS Roma in 2000, he finally won the Serie A championship to crown his career in Italy. He played his last season in Qatar with Al-Arabi before he retired in 2005.

Currently he works as a commentator having worked for Televisa Deportes during the 2006 FIFA World Cup and for the show "La jugada".Personal life

Batistuta was born on 1 February 1969, to slaughterhouse worker Omar Batistuta and school secretary Gloria Batistuta, in the town of Avellaneda, province of Santa Fe, Argentina, but grew up in the near city of Reconquista. He has three younger sisters, named Elisa, Alejandra, and Gabriela.

At the age of 16, he met Irina Fernández, his future wife, on her quinceañera, a rite of passage on her 15th birthday. She is reported to have ignored him but five years later, on December 28, 1990, they were married at Saint Roque Church. The couple moved to Florence, Italy, in 1991, and a year later their first son, Thiago, was born. Thanks to good performances in the Italian championship and with the Argentine national team, Batistuta gained fame and respect. He filmed several commercials and was invited onto numerous TV shows, but in spite of this, Batistuta always remained a low-profile family man.

In 1996, during Fiorentina's 2-1 victory at A.C. Milan, he celebrated scoring the match's decisive goal by saying Te amo, Irina ('I love you, Irina', to his wife) for the cameras. The mix of sex appeal and faithfulness cemented Batistuta's heart-throb reputation among Argentine and Italian women. In 1997, Batistuta's second son, Lucas, was born, and a third son, Joaquín, followed in 1999. He now has a fourth son Shamel. In 2000, Batistuta and his family moved to Rome, where he played for AS Roma. Two years after Shamel was born, Batistuta was loaned to Inter. In 2002, after more than 10 years in Italy, the family moved to Qatar where Batistuta had accepted a lucrative celebrity playing contract with a local team, Al-Arabi.

Batistuta ended his career at Al-Arabi, retiring in March 2005, after a series of injuries that prevented him from playing. Soon afterwards he moved to Perth, Australia. In April 2006, the city's established A-league franchise, Perth Glory was put up for sale and it was reported that Batistuta was among the bidders.[1]

[edit] The player

[edit] Beginnings

As a child Batistuta preferred other sports to football. Thanks to his height he played basketball, but after Argentina's victory in the 1978 FIFA World Cup, in which he was particularly impressed by the skills of Mario Kempes, he devoted himself to football. After playing with friends on the streets and in the small Grupo Alegria club, he joined the local Platense junior team. While with Platense he was selected for the Reconquista team that won the provincial championship by beating Newell's Old Boys from Rosario. His 2 goals drew the attention of the opposition team, and he signed for them in 1988.

[edit] Professional

Batistuta signed professional forms with Newell's Old Boys Club, whose coach was Marcelo Bielsa, who would later become Batistuta's coach with the Argentine national team. Things did not come easily for Batistuta during his first year with the club. He was away from home, his family, and his girlfriend Irina, sleeping in a room at the stadium, and had a weight problem that slowed him down. At the end of that year he was loaned to a smaller team, Deportivo Italiano, of Buenos Aires, with whom he participated in the Carnevale Cup in Italy, ending as top scorer with 3 goals.

In mid-1989, Batistuta made the leap to one of Argentina's biggest clubs, River Plate, where he scored 17 goals. However, all did not run smoothly. He had numerous run-ins with coach Daniel Passarella (with whom he had later confrontations on the national squad) and he was dropped from the squad in the middle of the season.

In 1990, Batistuta signed for River's arch-rivals, Boca Juniors. Having gone so long without playing, he initially found it hard to find his best form. However, at the beginning of 1991 Oscar Tabárez became Boca's coach, and he gave Batistuta the support and confidence to become the league's top scorer that season as Boca won the championship.

[edit] International

In 1991, Batistuta was selected to play for Argentina in the Copa América held in Chile, where he finished the tournament as top scorer with 6 goals as Argentina romped to victory. During the Copa América competition, the vice-president of Fiorentina was impressed by Batistuta's skills and signed him for the Italian club. However, the following season Fiorentina were relegated to the Serie B division, despite Batistuta's 13 season goals. The club returned to Serie A two years later, with the contribution of 16 Batistuta goals and managed by Claudio Ranieri.

In 1993, Batistuta played in his second Copa América, this time held in Ecuador, which Argentina again won. The 1994 FIFA World Cup, held in USA, was a disappointment: after a promising start Argentina were beaten by Romania in the last 16. The morale of the team was seriously affected by Diego Maradona's doping suspension. Despite the disappointing Argentine exit, Batistuta scored 4 goals in as many games, including a hat-trick in their opening game against Greece.

On his return to Fiorentina, Batistuta found his best form. He was the top scorer of the 1994-95 season with 26 goals, and he broke Ezio Pascutti's 30-year-old record by scoring in all of the first 11 matches of the season. In the 1995-96 season Fiorentina won the Italian Cup and Super Coppa.

During the qualification matches for the 1998 FIFA World Cup (with former River Plate manager Passarella now coaching the Argentinean national team) Batistuta was left out of the majority of the games after falling out with the coach. Playing in the World Cup finals themselves, he scored 5 goals in that competition, before Argentina lost 2-1 to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. In the game against Jamaica, he recorded the second hat trick of his World Cup career, becoming the 4th player to achieve this (the others were Sándor Kocsis, Just Fontaine, and Gerd Müller) and the first to score a hat trick in 2 World Cups.

After failure to win the Italian championship with Fiorentina, Batistuta started considering a transfer to a bigger team. In an effort to keep Batistuta, Fiorentina hired Giovanni Trapattoni as coach and promised to do everything to win the Scudetto. After an excellent start to the season, Batistuta suffered an injury that kept him out of action for more than a month. Losing momentum, Fiorentina lost the lead and finished the season in third place, which gave them the chance to participate in the Champions League in the following season.

[edit] Scudetto with AS Roma and last years

Batistuta stayed at Fiorentina for the 1999-00 season, tempted by the chance of winning both the Scudetto and the Champions League. After a promising start in both competitions, the team only reached seventh in the league and were eliminated in the second round group phase. The following season, he was transferred to A.S. Roma in a deal worth 35 million US dollars. Although a knee injury restricted his number of appearances, he scored 20 goals for A.S. Roma in his first season. He finally realized his dream of winning a major trophy as Roma clinched the Scudetto for the first time since 1983. The following season with A.S. Roma he changed his shirt number from #18 to #20 in reference to the number of goals he had scored during the Scudetto winning campaign. He also wore his age on the back of his Roma jersey in 2002, #33.

After a good series of performances by Argentina in the qualification matches for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, hopes were high that the South Americans - now managed by Marcelo Bielsa - could win the trophy, and Batistuta announced that he planned to quit the national team at the end of the tournament, which Argentina aimed to win. But Argentina's "group of death" saw the team fall at the first hurdle, as poor results against Nigeria, England, and Sweden meant that the team was knocked out in the opening round for the first time since 1962.

Back in Italy, Batistuta failed to find form with Roma and was loaned out to Internazionale; however, he failed to make an impression and departed for Qatari team Al-Arabi Sports Club. In Qatar, he broke the record of most goals scored that was held by Qatari Legend Mansour Mouftah with an amazing 24 goals. He was awarded for being the top scorer in all Arab leagues in 2004 with a Golden Boot.[citation needed]

Batistuta retired in 2005, and now lives in Perth, Australia. Despite having completed his coaching badges in Argentina, he currently has no involvement with football (instead he prefers to play golf). He has, however, recently expressed an interest in Coaching Australia. Argentine great keen to coach Socceroos

He has also been linked to the Argentina national football team job with Diego Maradona.

[edit] Statistics

* Physical information: Height 1.85 m, weight 73 kg
* First professional match: September 25, 1988. San Martín (Tucumán) 1 - Newell's Old Boys 0
* First professional goal: May 16, 1989. Newell's Old Boys 3 - Platense 0.
* First national team match: June 27, 1991. Brazil 1 - Argentina 1.
* First national team goal: July 8, 1991. Argentina 3 - Venezuela 0.
* Last national team match: June 12, 2002. Argentina 1 - Sweden 1.
* Last national team goal: June 2, 2002. Argentina 1 - Nigeria 0.
* 78 national team matches with 56 goals.

[edit] Honours

* First Division (Serie A) Italian Championship (with A.S. Roma) 2000-2001.
* Italian Supercup (with ACF Fiorentina) 1996, (with A.S. Roma) 2001
* Argentine Football Writers' Footballer of the Year 1998.
* Italian Cup (with ACF Fiorentina) 1995-1996.
* Second Division (Serie B) Italian Championship (with Fiorentina) 1993-1994.
* First Division Top Scorer, 26 goals (with Fiorentina) 1994-1995
* Copa América (with Argentina) 1991, 1993
* Copa América Top Scorer, 6 goals (with Argentina) 1991
* Top Scorer of The Qatari League with a record breaking 24 goals.
* Top Scorer in all Arab leagues, awarded with a Golden Boot.
* Gabriel Batistuta also set a new Serie A record by scoring in 11 consecutive Serie A games

1 comments:

Andi_Zone said...
December 27, 2011 at 9:35 AM  

miss G.Omar.Batistuta

Jadwal Piala Dunia 2010

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