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(Unconditionally) Loving Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio - Diana Ross: USA '94 ends as it begins.

Pasadena, 17 July 1994 at 12:30, the story of “Eupalla” on the pitch. Italy and Brazil are ready for the final battle: whoever wins secures the 4th World title for the first time. But before we get to the last act of this football novel, let's rewind the tape to a few weeks earlier, when the summer came in overwhelmingly and the USA '94 began. The wind of change was blowing with the introduction of the names on the shirts of the players and the three points in case of victory. It was the most awaited event because it was full of emotions, as hot as 40 ° and 100% humidity that were expected to be devastating for the European teams. A tournament celebrated by a lavish inauguration ceremony that ended just as the World Cup will end. That is with the star Diana Ross, queen of Motown, who misses a penalty kick just like another star of the green rectangle: Roberto Baggio.

Divin Codino, Pibe de Oro & c.

The world stars were Roby Baggio, Romario, Stohickov, Valderrama and Maradona who hired Cerrini to get back in shape, after having plunged into the abyss of vice, even if assisted by ephedrine which will then cost him dearly. On the other hand, for Colombian "El Pibe", the winner announced on the eve, it will be a bitter World Cup which broke down in the groups after the own goal of Captain Escobar who will perish because he was found guilty of the massacre under 12 machine gun shots. Romario and Stohickov will not disappoint the expectations rising to Virgilio of their respective teams guiding them to the sound of goals and touches of rare class and poetry towards the final which, however, only the "Cariocas" will reach.

One knee of 220 points

Leading the Azzurri to the final was Roberto Baggio. Pigtail dancing on the shoulders and a non-optimal physical condition. Which, however, would not have affected the painter's shining talent. It was in the second round that Baggio struck: once again, the childish imagination of humanity spreading Nigeria with two right-hand frescoes. There, the "Divin Codino" woke up from sleep and took the fate of Italy by the hand, pushing it with class into the opponents' goal. Thanks also to the arrival in the stands of his family, his engine and greatest trophy. And to think that that right knee, the fulcrum of all his refined arpeggios, was held together by 220 stitches after he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus at the age of 18. Under those points the precious and very delicate mechanism of a champion who would never stop fighting against this handicap had been reconstructed.

Loving Roberto Baggio

For everyone he has always been simply “Roberto”, as a giant of sports journalism like Bruno Pizzul loved to call him, expressing the sense of familiarity that his figure exuded. The people loved him unconditionally, recognizing the epic dimension in his being. He loved him even more in Pasadena, after his mistake from the spot in the final when he kicked a high penalty against Brazil for the first and only time in his life. Arithmetically condemning the Azzurri to defeat, given the previous errors of Baresi and Massaro. He scored in a goal in the sky, perhaps the most beautiful goal of him. That mistake made everyone understand that Roberto is a human hero. American reporters called him "the most Brazilian Italian that exists". Perhaps because they understood that Italy would never have reached the World Cup without his plays. The magic of Baggio also lies in the enormous disproportion between the results obtained and the immense class and human and sporting freedom that have made him famous all over the world. His abilities have always rested on something very little muscular but spiritual. The reality is that Baggio's greatness also lies in those eleven passages so awaited and discussed that in the collective imagination they have been pushed online over and over again.

This is how the man Roberto overtook the Baggio Champion.

Thanks to the pen of CasaBaggio .

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