Saturday August 23 2014
VIDEO: Baggio calls for ALS research

Roberto Baggio and Antonio Conte take the ice bucket challenge back to its roots with a special appeal for ALS research.

The challenge has gone viral in recent days, sweeping the world and helping to raise funds for research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Often also referred to as Lou Gherig’s Disease, it is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that breaks down the ability of the brain to control muscle movement, leading to total paralysis and death.

It affects professional sportsmen and women far more than the general population, which is why more research into what causes the disease is needed.

Baggio took the ice bucket challenge (see video below) and nominated UEFA President Michel Platini and FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Above all, he nominated Chantal Borgonovo, the wife of his former Fiorentina teammate Stefano Borgonovo, who was killed by ALS in June 2013 aged just 49.

“She is a modern heroine and someone who has experienced this horrible disease in her life,” said Baggio.

“We need to do this because football is paying too high a tribute for a disease it must fight from the front line.”

Borgonovo is not the only familiar Serie A face to have been taken too soon by this debilitating disease, as Genoa captain Gianluca Signorini died in November 2002 – just seven years after his playing career ended.

He was only 42 and Genoa retired the Number 6 jersey in his honour.

Italy Coach Antonio Conte is also taking the ice bucket challenge, but will do so on September 1 when the squad comes together at Coverciano ahead of its friendly against Italy.

“I spoke to Conte and he told me he’ll have the ice bucket challenge on the day of the Italy get-together and donate his personal contribution to the fight against ALS,” announced FIGC general manager Antonello Valentini.

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