Baggio – Italy vs Czechoslovakia – 1990

21 01 2011

Angelo Fiorini is a must-follow on Twitter for any fans of Italian football. Catch him @Ciociaro78 … Here he talks us through a breakthrough goal for one of Europe’s finest ever players …


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In this feature for the ‘My Favourite Goal’ series I’m going to bring you back to an era before the exotic world of Italian football was brought to our screens by James Richardson and the wonderful Football Italia on Channel 4. Italia 90 is widely regarded as the launchpad to the international stage of ‘Calcio’ and my favourite goal catapulted a young Italian with a rather dodgy mullet to worldwide stardom.  The 23-year-old Roberto Baggio, who had remained on the sidelines for Italy’s two opening games of the group stages, made his World Cup debut against Czechoslovakia at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome – and, in the 77th minute, with one exquisite display of his talents,  he scored a goal that Italian commentator Bruno Pizzul described as ‘a piece of art.’
 
From close to the touch-line Baggio exchanged a neat one-two with ‘Il Principe’ Giuseppe Giannini. He then took off on a run and with an initial burst of acceleration and some delicate sidesteps, he out-witted several Czech defenders before turning to drive the ball past Jan Stejskal to round off a magnificent performance by the newly acquired Juventus player. What was most impressive about this goal was that Baggio remained in complete control of the ball at all times and his feints although very discreet (in comparison to the modern day equivalent often demonstrated by players such as Cristiano Ronaldo) completely threw the Czech defenders and in particular the goalkeeper as it seemed obvious Baggio would place it into the far corner, instead opting for the keepers right hand near side.

This goal sealed the 2-0 win for the Azzurri which assured that they remained at the Stadio Olimpico for the 2nd round game against Uruguay. However, this goal was not so much about the result that night. Up to this point in the tournament the Azzurri, although having won their first two games 1-0, had struggled to impress the ever demanding Italian public and media. Amid widespread pressure, the manager Azeglio Vicini dropped Andrea Carnevale and Gianluca Vialli in favour of Baggio and eventual top scorer Toto Schillaci and their performances that night vindicated his decision. For Baggio in particular there was a high level of expectation amongst the Italians and what a feeling it must have been to score such a goal.

The elation of Baggio is clearly evident in his celebration but the euphoria present amongst the 73,000 capacity crowd with the tricolori waiving vigorously was one of those perfect moments in sport that captured the essence of those ‘notti magiche’ (magical nights) that will forever live in the memory of the Italian public. Roberto Baggio, who outside of Italy would not have been a household name, had announced his presence to the watching world and the international superstar so many fans came to know and love was born.

Paul Simpson, former editor of FourFourTwo wrote that “We all have a World Cup that feels less like a tournament than a rite of passage, introducing us to idols, emotions and intrigue we will remember for the rest of our lives..” For a certain 12 year old, as a result of that moment of genius, that idol became – and still is to this day – Roberto Baggio.

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3 responses

21 01 2011
riccardo

Hi mate…nice blog!…Why don’t we make an exchange of links? visit mine….and let me know if you are interested in it…see you

21 01 2011
Baggio – Italy vs Czechoslovakia – 1990 « Scissors Kick

[…] “In this feature for the ‘My Favourite Goal’ series I’m going to bring you back to an era before the exotic world of Italian football was brought to our screens by James Richardson and the wonderful Football Italia on Channel 4. Italia 90 is widely regarded as the launchpad to the international stage of ‘Calcio’ and my favourite goal catapulted a young Italian with a rather dodgy mullet to worldwide stardom. The 23-year-old Roberto Baggio, who had remained on the sidelines for Italy’s two opening games of the group stages, made his World Cup debut against Czechoslovakia at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome – and, in the 77th minute, with one exquisite display of his talents, he scored a goal that Italian commentator Bruno Pizzul described as ‘a piece of art.’” Ghost Goal […]

21 01 2011
Tweets that mention Baggio – Italy vs Czechoslovakia – 1990 « GhostGoal -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Angelo Fiorini, ghostgoal. ghostgoal said: New Blog Post – My Favourite Goal – Roberto Baggio – Italy vs Czechoslovakia – 1990 – by @ciociaro78 ………. http://tinyurl.com/4oggc62 […]

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