A happy 50th birthday to Il Divin Codino – ‘The Divine Ponytail’ – who, in a fertile period of outrageously-skilled Italian playmakers, managed to stand out from the crowd as the best.
Beginning his career at hometown club Vicenza, over the next 20 years turned out for all the biggest clubs in Italian football, bar Roma.
It was at Juventus where he arguably played his best. Signing for a world record fee in 1990, Baggio wore Platini’s No10 shirt and won the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup in an age when Serie A was the world’s best league.
Brilliant for Italy as well, he starred at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups (albeit missing a penalty in the final of the latter tournament) and finished with 27 goals in 54 caps.
As his former Fiorentina manager Aldo Agroppi once said: “The angels sing in his legs.”
Other sport stars born on this day
1967: Colin Jackson, Wales’ two-time world 110m champion who held the world record for more than 10 years (50).
1971: Thomas Bjorn, Danish golfer who will captain Europe at the Ryder Cup in 2018 (46).
1975: Gary Neville, former Manchester United and England right-back who won the EPL title eight times (42).
1992: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers running back who is a two-time Pro Bowler (25).
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