Italy’s World Cup Villain turned hero Roberto Baggio is back in business after 6 years out in the sidelines. The 43 year old former Italy international famed for his trademark ponytail is now the president for the technical committee of the FIGC (Italian FA).
For a player of such immense talent, it is a shame that Baggio is remembered more for his penalty miss in their 1994 World Cup final loss to Brazil rather than for his exceptional skill that made him one of the country’s legends and endeared him in the hearts of many fans worldwide.
The former Fiorentina, Juventus, Milan and Inter forward now has a heavy task ahead of him as he seeks to restore some pride in the national side. Baggio will work hand in hand with former Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli as they prepare the Azzurri for their next major tournament-Euro 2012.
The 2006 world champions suffered a humiliating 2010 campaign in which they failed to make it past the group stages of the tournament. Baggio’s appointment signals the dawn of a new era.
Baggio holds the record of being the only Italian player to have scored in three world cups and is hoping that some of that good fortune can rub off into his new job. Scoring an impressive 218 goals in 488 club appearances, Baggio is one of Italy’s record goal scorers.
Speaking to the press, Baggio expressed his delight at the job.
“I have given my assent, on my part there’s the maximum willingness to hold the role of president of the technical sector at Coverciano. Now, however I have to wait the Federal Board on Wednesday.”
Prandelli has already made major changes to the national team to include former out of favour players Balotelli and Cassano. Only time will tell how successful this combination will be however, if their past successes are anything to go by, then i believe this is the beginning of great things for Italy.
Photo credit: from futboltrivias