Friday April 26 2013
20 Great Italian Games: Preview #4

Roberto Baggio’s Greatest Goal?

It was the goal we all daydreamed of scoring during our school days. With never a thought of passing to a team-mate, you go skipping past opponents on a mazy run before ending it with an ice-cool finish. In 1989 at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples, Roberto Baggio did it for real.

To this day, footage of the strike is the kind to give fans of beautiful football goosebumps. The naive insouciance (why do the French get all these words?) with which the champion from Caldogno dumped defenders on their derrieres is breathtaking. He may not yet have had the ponytail, but he was already well on his way to achieving divine status.

It remains an iconic Serie A goal. The fact that it was achieved against Napoli gave it added symbolism. It was not a change of guard - Maradona had some big games left in him - but it was definitely a kind of coronation. Even Diego saw echoes of his own enormous talent in the way the slender Viola star had sliced open the Azzurri defence.

Read more in 20 Great Italian Games, available for £1.53 via Amazon.

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