Gabriel Batistuta

Written by Sebastien on 31 March 2013. Posted in World Cup Legends

Gabriel Batistuta is also known as Batigol or El Angel Gabriel (Angel Gabriel). He was born in 1969 and is now retired, but he is still the Italian tenth top scorer of all times with his 184 goals in 318 matches. He played for the Argentinean national team and he participated in three World Cup tournaments. In 78 matches with his national team, Batistuta scored 56 goals. The famous Diego Maradona had named him the best striker which was seen on the field.

As a child Batistuta was not paying much interest in football. His passions changed after the 1978 World Cup and he started by joining a junior’s team (Platense). He was soon noticed by bigger teams and he played for several Argentinean clubs (Newell’s Old Boys, River Plate and Boca Juniors). He scored 17 goals for River Plate, but was dropped off the team in the middle of the season because he had some problems with the coach. Gabriel Batistuta was noticed by the vice-president of Fiorentina while he was playing for his national team at the 1991 Copa America. He found his best form with this team and even stayed with it when Fiorentina reached Serie B. In the 1994-1995 season, Batistuta was a top scorer with 26 goals. A year later Fiorentina won Coppa Italia and Supercoppa. After the year 2000 Batistuta left Fiorentina and played at first for Roma, then for Internazionale and Al-Arabi. In 2004 he won the Golden Boot for being the top scorer in all Arab leagues.

The international career of Gabriel Batistuta started in 1991 when he first played for Argentina in Coppa America. He participated in the 1994 World Cup and, even though Argentina was disappointed by being defeated by Romania and by the suspension of Maradona, Batistuta scored 4 goals in 4 matches, including a hat-trick in the opening game. He also scored a hat-trick in the next World Cup in 1998, becoming the first player who scored two hat-tricks in two consecutive World Cups. Batistuta announced his retirement from the national team before 2002 World Cup and, unfortunately, Argentina left the competition in the opening round.

Ever since 2005 Gabriel Batistuta is retired. He first lived in Australia and then in Argentina. He is not currently coaching any team and prefers running his own business which has nothing to do with football.

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