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GABRIEL BATISTUTA

     
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PROFESSIONALISM

As with any player, even for Batistuta the beginning of his career has not been easy. Temporarily promoted among the holders of Newell's Old Boys in 1988, was awarded the first contract of his life the following year, again in that team: $ 20,000 per year of engagement. He then went on loan to Deportivo Italian, society of Buenos Aires, for the Youth Tournament in Viareggio in 1989, but his team was eliminated from its Turin on February 1, the day of the twentieth birthday of Gabriel.

But <el Camion>, as he was nicknamed Bati for its compelling power in attack, he was able also to be noted for its excellent striker. In June of that year it was purchased personally by Septimius Aloisio, who spent half of his card at River Plate coached by Reinaldo Merlo. Change team meant to start all over from scratch. Gabriel she made it, and played seventeen games scoring four goals: then the sudden resignation of Merlo and the arrival of Daniel Passarella, a character with whom the relationship has always been difficult.

Bati was discarded and, despite great sacrifices in the six months that followed, not even played a game. The sadness gave way to anger, and in June Batistuta left the River to Boca Juniors. There were heard too many months of absence from the field of play and its performance was disastrous, also blame the increased pressure of the fans to the team.

In January 1991, he came to the Boca coach Oscar Tabarez, the team was rebuilt, the coach could give confidence to the players and enhance the skills, the understanding with the companions was perfect, and the Boca began to win as did not happen for some time, reaching the final of the Copa Libertadores and losing the championship by a whisker, just against Newell's. Goals from Bati began to snow, and the sample to make its way on the amateur. They also began to arrive the first Europe offers: Verona, Juventus, Real Madrid, Fiorentina.

It was in 1991, during a match of Copa America (Argentina tournament then won Bati), Vittorio Cecchi Gori, then Vice President of the purple team, noticed the young Gabriel Omar Batistuta, he realized his talent, appreciated its class and his sense of goal and decided to take him to Florence. Even in Fiorentina, as it was in the River and Boca, the first approach with the environment and with peers was not the best: quarrels, misunderstandings, different habits, and this time, also the language barrier. In addition to Bati there was no real shoulder, with which to build the exploits of which was, and is, capable. But the strong and sincere, typical of the great champion, managed to spianargli the road: Gabriel began to mark and to be decisive for the fate of the team, while Florence, little by little, affezionava him, the boy with long hair blonde, feet and magical character discreet.

On 26 February 1992, with a goal scored by 1 to 0 Juventus, in Florence was born the myth of Batigol. Followed goal burst: a brace against Genoa, a hat-trick in Foggia and still twice the Olimpico. The myth was gaining strength. Despite great personal achievements of Batistuta, Fiorentina year he finished twelfth, and the following year (even with a team with top-level elements such as Laudrup and Effenberg) for viola arrives, unexpectedly, the relegation to Serie B. At Fiorentina comes Claudio Ranieri, one of six coaches who, until now, have had the good fortune to train Bati in Italy (along with Lazaroni, Root, Agroppi, Malesani and Trapattoni), and the one with which the Argentine won the only Italian trophies of his career.

Batistuta takes over the reins of the team and decides to stay still in Florence. Despite the bitter pill, a great pride and a strong attachment to the city to fight the urge to bring Fiorentina in Serie A: Once again the courage and the will to win are stronger humiliation. And Bati succeeds in its goal: thanks to him and to his great understanding with Francesco "Ciccio" Baiano, in 1994 the cadet Fiorentina dominated the tournament and returned to Serie A. The following year Bati wins record consecutive Sundays to sign, eleven, pulling an old player of Bologna, Pascutti, which had stopped at ten: a record that seemed eternal and unattainable, shattered with class, power, and apparent ease.

It is also the year of the "flag", the legendary and unforgettable way to celebrate the goal, which has so idealized image of striker Batistuta that, in that season ('94-'95) also won the top scorer in Serie A , with 26 goals. It's just the taste of what will be the '95-'96 season, so far the most rewarding: Fiorentina finished the season in third place, finally winning a place in Europe, and May 18 in Bergamo, against ' Atalanta, Batistuta gives to the fans, to society and to himself violates the Italian Cup, the number 5 lily of the story. Four months later, at San Siro against Milan, the Argentine wonder the whole of Italy Baresi and destroying the entire Rossoneri rearguard, and with an amazing double door in Florence, the Super Cup.

1995 was also the year of the 100 games in Serie A: the goal, passed on November 5 with Fiorentina-Lazio (2-0 result thanks to his two goals) and celebrated by fans with what, so far, is the most Approval by a large fan base a player: a statue.

With the conquest of the Italian Cup, Fiorentina Batistuta enter the Cup Winners' Cup 1996-97. In the first round against the Romanians of Gloria Bistrita, could only be the Argentine to break the ice, scoring the goal 1-1: to return the purple will qualify by winning 1-0. Pass then to Sparta Prague for Benfica, always managing to get through the round. In the semifinals the purple touches Barcelona: the challenge between Ronaldo and Batistuta is the prerogative of the Argentine striker. On 10 April 1997, at the legendary stadium of Camp Nou, the Brazilian does not score, while Batistuta gives to violate the equalizer, with a silencing gesture 90,000 opposing fans. Unfortunately, Gabriel is booked and forced to miss the second leg: its absence will give the Catalans into the final.

The 1997-98 season begins in Udine with a sensational hat-trick license plate Batistuta, who sends in delirium the new coach of Fiorentina, Alberto Malesani, making his debut in Serie A. With two goals scored on the following Sunday in Florence, Bati began the season with five goals in two games, and that season cut yet another great milestone: the 100th goal in Serie A. His greatness is to score and to score. La Fiorentina, at the end of the championship, winning a place in the UEFA Cup.

The following year coaching Batistuta is a legend in the history of football, the coach who has won more than any other: Giovanni Trapattoni. Thanks to him, his experience and his charisma, Gabriel abandoned the idea of ​​leaving Florence: Trapattoni promises a team capable of fighting for the title. And so it was: the 1998-99 season sees Fiorentina alone at the top for more than half a season with a Bati unleashed a barrage that marks and celebrates his goals by mimicking a burst of machine-gun fire. On 7 February 1999, however, during Fiorentina-Milan, Batistuta suffered the most serious injury of his career, which will force him to stay out of the field of play for more than a month.

His recovery is still in record time. The absence of captain affects significantly Fiorentina, deprived of its leader, who lost the leadership of the league in favor of Lazio, without being able to win her back. Will sit still in third place, winning after thirty years, qualifying for the Champions League. And this is the primary objective of Batistuta and Fiorentina for the 1999-2000 season, along with savored championship and then lost last year. Now Gabriel has two shoulders phenomenal as Church and Mijatovic, and luxury as a substitute for Balbo, a great friend even in private life, and with this in mind, Gabriel Omar Batistuta launches into a new adventure that could bring it to a final consecration among the stars of world football.



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