Tuesday, December 16, 2014

16 December 2002 - This...Is...Baggio!

On 16 December 2002, Brescia forward Roberto Baggio scored his 300th career goal in the home side's Serie A win over Piacenza. With that goal, he became the first Italian in over 50 years to reach 300, and only the third Italian ever to do so.

Baggio started his professional career in Serie C1 with Vicenza (1982-85) but soon moved to bigger stages with Fiorentina (1985-90), Juventus (1990-95), AC Milan (1995-97), Bologna (1997-98) and Inter (1998-2000), before moving to Brescia in 2000. By the time he retired in 2004, he had scored 318 goals in all competitions, third among Italians only to Silvio Piola (364) and Giuseppe Meazza (338). Along the way, Baggio amassed a number of honors, including two Scudettos (1994-95 and 1995-96) and the 1993 Ballon d'Or.

Despite his shooting prowess, he is widely remembered for a goal he did not score. In the 1994 World Cup Final, Italy were tied with Brazil 0-0 at the end of extra time. In the ensuing penalty shootout, Brazil were leading 3-2 after four kicks. Baggio stepped up to take the Italians' fifth and final kick and sent it over the crossbar to give the Brazilians the win.

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