THE SHY ARGENTINIAN FEARED BY ALL
Gabrial Bautistuta will always be remembered as one of the strongest and most talented strikers of all times. Nicknamed ‘Batigol’ and ‘El Angel Bautistuta’, the Argentinean great enjoys an iconic status in both is home country the Italian Serie A league due to his prolific scoring abilities. The nickname Batigol was what the Italians gave him; it’s basically a mesh of his surname and the Italian word for goal. Batistuta gave 17 rigorous years of his life to the sport and he was so focused and gave the sport his all during this time that by the time he retired in 2005 his legs were about the fall off. He famously stated he wanted to have them amputated due to the pain he felt in them soon after he retired.
Gabrial Omar Batistuta was born in 1969 in Avellaneda, Santa Fe, Argentina. He was born in to a relatively poor family where his father was a worker and his mother worked as a secretary. Due to his height he was initially interested in playing basketball but the lure of soccer eventually found him following the 1978 World Cup. After playing on the streets Batistuta joined his local club Platense, this was followed by further moves on his home soil within Argentinean clubs including Newell’s Old Boys, then Boca Juniors. It was at Boca where Batistuta discovered his lethal striking ability; he finished that yeat as the league’s top scorer in 1990-91 with 23 goals in 29 matches.
At Fiorentina Batistuta remained the club’s all time top scorer and the 12thhighest scorer of all time in the Italian Serie A with 184 goals in 318 matches. At Fiorentina Batistuta won the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup in 1996.This was nothing compared to his individual accomplishments which included setting a record by scoring 11 consecutive games on his way to collecting 26 goals for one season alone. At an international level for Argentina he was the all time leading goal scorer with 56 goals in 78 matches, until Messi broke his record. Batistuta played three World Cups scoring 10 goals. He is Argentina’s all-time top scorer in the competition, and the joint eighth-highest World Cup goal scorer of all-time. He is also the only player in the games history to score two hat-tricks in different FIFA World Cup editions in 1994 and 1998. With the Argentina national team he won two consecutive Copa América titles and the FIFA Confederations Cup. He is regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation. He has a reputation of being one of the nicest and most professional players on the tour, keeping his private family life private and delivering on the soccer field.
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
Batistuta was named Serie A’s Foreign Player of the Year in 1998. The following year he came third in the FIFA World Player of the Year award. He was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players in 2004.