Why legendary Italian made the most horrendous mistake in his career — missed a penalty in the final of the 1994 world Cup.
Roberto Baggio. The final of 1994.
“The world Cup in the USA was won by Brazil. Of course, it is customary to celebrate the players of the winning team, the more there shone great Romario. But for me the tournament in the US this is the championship of one man — Roberto Baggio”, — said Georgy Cherdantsev, a sports commentator and the author of the encyclopedia of football “world series History” (published by AST).
Blunder of the century
He came to the world Cup with an injury. Injury even persecuted Bajo life, and wonder he played to 37 years. In 18 years, one of the greatest players in football history have received such an injury, after which seriously raised the question of completion has not yet begun careers: not sustained the right knee, which flew all the ligaments and meniscus.
On operations in France, Baggio put 220 stitches, with whom he had spent his life on the football field. In the qualifying round before the world Cup in the USA, Baggio injured his rib and had no training. At the training camp the coach-innovator Arigo Sacchi never played football professionally, drove the football team of the Italian Marines and not fully recovered, Baggio received the same enormous load as everyone else.
During the championship, Baggio received the first one injury, then another — the Achilles tendon in the match against Bulgaria — a blow to the ankle, and ended with the substitute in the 71st minute. For the final, Roberto Baggio left literally on one leg. To existing sores, and added damage to the back of the thigh.
Prior to Arigo Sacchi was a very difficult choice: to risk and put on his best game, but very far from 100 percent availability of the player or find some other solution. Sacchi decided to take a chance, because Baggio was pulled in General average Italian team in the final. Suffice it to say that if I’m not mistaken, almost the first time in the history of world Championships every one of the goals for his team in the playoffs on the way to the finals, and there were six of them, scored by one player — Roberto Baggio.
He always had the same number of fans, many people who are hated, although I don’t understand how you can not just remain indifferent, but to feel something bad in relation to such outstanding talent. “Rabbit, namouchi panties” — will speak about Baggio after unconvincing games of Roberto and the whole team Italy in the group stage cartridge Juventus Gianni Agnelli.
Photo: courtesy of AST
The words with all due respect to the Creator of such a great club, did not do him any justice. Can you imagine what he said about Baggio famous persons, if the shapes of such magnitude as Agnelli allowed himself to speak of him like that out loud.
Namouchi pants Rabbit could stay in reserve to the delight of Agnelli and did not go to the finals, participation in which such injuries could cost Bajo career. But he came out, insisted that I should play, because he understood that the world Cup final and the opportunity to win it happen, maybe only once in his career even a big player.
He started the match, which at the insistence of the European broadcasters began at 12.30 local time. In Los Angeles was such a terrible heat, so not to play football to sit on the podium was impossible. My working for that championship, colleagues recalled: equipment and computers literally melted in the scorching sun.
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