Gabriel Batistuta has admitted that he cannot play football anymore as a consequence of the injuries picked up during his professional career.
Late last summer reports emerged in Italy that the former Fiorentina, Roma and Inter forward could barely stand, as a result of numerous knee injuries sustained during his career and the treatments he was given at the time.
Whilst denying this at the time, the 43-year-old has now admitted this week that there was an element of truth to those rumours.
“There was a time when I was very ill. I could hardly walk,” the Argentine told France Football.
“Now I feel better. However, I cannot play football because I cannot run anymore, but now I can walk pretty well.”
The forward, who spent 12 years in Italy, was asked if the injections to treat his chronic knee problems was the reason for his current decline in condition.
“Yes, but I also did a lot, I always played. In a 70-game season, I played 65 times. And I always gave everything.
“I had difficulty accepting that I had to sit still when injured. If I could go back in time, maybe I’d be more careful about myself, but ultimately maybe not.
“I loved to score, to hear the crowd.”
The former striker, who is now serving as sporting director at Colon de Santa Fe, scored 168 goals in a nine-year spell at Fiorentina.
“I would have won the Ballon d’Or had I played with Barcelona or Manchester United, but I wanted to play at Fiorentina.
“I could have scored more goals and could have won La Liga or the Premier League. I was at Fiorentina, though, because I wanted to stay there.
“I wanted to win the championship with a small team, to make history.”