Baggio with Inter in 1991
|Date of birth||24 July 1971|
|Place of birth||Camposampiero, Italy|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2003||→ Blackburn Rovers (loan)||9||(1)|
|2004||→ Ancona (loan)||9||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Dino Baggio (born 24 July 1971) is a former Italian professional footballer, who played as a defensive midfielder. He obtained 60 caps at international level for the Italian national team, notably reaching the final of the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
In his club career, Dino Baggio played for Torino (1989–91), Inter Milan (1991–92), Juventus (1992–94), Parma (1994–2000), Lazio (2000–03 and 2004–05), Blackburn Rovers (2003–04), and Ancona (2004). After having joined Triestina in the Italian Serie B in the summer of 2005, he rescinded the contract because of personal issues with coach Pietro Vierchowod, playing just three times for the giuliani. He won the UEFA Cup three times in his career, twice with Parma and once with Juventus.
Baggio began his football career at age five in Tombolo, a province of Padova. He was spotted by Torino scouts at the age of 13 and taken into the Torino youth system. He made his debut in Serie A as a 19 year old against Lazio and became a regular member of the starting line-up, making a name for himself as a promising youngster. He emerged as a tenacious, hardworking, consistent, and versatile defensive midfielder during his time at the club, who was capable of playing in several positions. With Torino, he won the 1989-90 Serie B title, followed by the 1991 Mitropa Cup. He was loaned to Inter at the age of 20 in 1991 for the 1991–92 season, making 27 appearances and scoring 1 goal.
At the end of the 1991–92 season, Juventus bought the promising youngster for 10 billion Italian Lire, and during his time at the club, Dino Baggio would play alongside his namesake Roberto Baggio for two seasons, forming a notable friendship. As Dino Baggio had previously played for city rivals Torino, however, the fans were not initially pleased by the transfer. His solid and consistent play soon won them over, however, and he quickly became a mainstay in the Juventus midfield, winning the UEFA Cup in 1993, scoring three goals over the two legs of the final; one goals came in the first leg and two in the second. He also helped Juventus to a second place finish in Serie A during the 1993-94 season.
After Baggio's performances in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and with Juventus, Parma attempted to acquire the midfielder. Baggio initially rejected Parma's offer, stating his intention to stay at Juventus. At the time, Juventus were ready to offer Parma a young forward named Alessandro Del Piero instead of Baggio, in order to retain their defensive midfielder; Parma accepted the offer, but before the transfer could be finalised, Dino Baggio changed his mind, and decided he would make the move to Parma. Del Piero stayed with Juventus, and the following season he underwent a breakthrough with the club, later going on to become a club legend.
Baggio moved to Parma at the beginning of the 1994–95 season for 14 billion Lire. During his first season with his new club under Nevio Scala, he immediately won the UEFA Cup, for the second time in his career, scoring a goal in each leg of the 1995 final against his former team, Juventus, increasing his UEFA Cup Final goal tally to five goals. He also reached the final of the Coppa Italia that season, losing out to his former club, also narrowly missing on the Serie A title to his former club, once again, finishing the league season in third place. Despite their European success under Malesani, Parma were unable to win the Serie A title during these years, with their best finish occurring during the 1996-97 season, where they managed a second place finish, under manager Carlo Ancelotti.
In a match during the 1998–99 UEFA Cup, Baggio was wounded in the head by a knife thrown by a Wisła Kraków supporter in Kraków, which resulted in Wisła being suspended from European cup play for a year. He would go on to win his third UEFA Cup that season, over Olympique Marseille, also winning the Coppa Italia over Fiorentina, followed by the 1999 Supercoppa Italiana over 1998-99 Serie A champions Milan.
Baggio stayed with Parma until the end of the 1999–2000 season, helping the club to a fourth place finish, and narrowly missing out on an UEFA Champions League spot following a play-off defeat to Inter. During his final season with the club, he also gained notoriety for a particular incident in a home match against his former club, Juventus, on the 9th January 2000. Baggio committed a foul on Gianluca Zambrotta, and was shown a controversial straight red card by referee Stefano Farina. In protest, Baggio made the "money sign" towards the referee, and subsequently spat on the ground close to Farina. Baggio was criticised for his behaviour, and was handed a two match ban, in addition to being fined 20 million lire, by his club, for the gesture. He was also prevented by Luciano Nizzola, the FIGC president at the time, from taking part in Italy's friendly match against Sweden, on the 23rd February 2000.
In October 2000, Baggio was sold to the newly crowned Serie A champions Lazio for 10 billion Italian lire, along with Nestor Sensini. He was utilized very little during his time at the club in the 2001–02 and the 2002-03 seasons, and the club failed to win any silverware. At the beginning of the 2003–04 season, he was in talks with English club Wolverhampton, who were newly promoted to the FA Premier League, over a possible loan deal; he was eventually loaned to English club Blackburn Rovers for the season. His manager at Blackburn, Graeme Souness, employed him in an unfamiliar forward role, however. Baggio made 9 appearances, scoring once in the league in a 2–1 defeat against Leeds United. Soon, Lazio loaned him out to newly promoted Serie A side Ancona. He made 15 appearances and scored 2 goals, but Ancona finished dead last. He remained with Lazio in 2004–05 season, but did not make a single appearance for the club that season. He retired in 2005 after a short spell with Serie B side Triestina. In February 2008 it was announced that Dino Baggio decided to come back from retirement and join the Terza Categoria side Tombolo — a team near his hometown, coached by his very first coach, Cesare Crivellaro.
At youth international level, Baggio won the 1992 European U-21 Championship with the "Azzurrini", and in the same year, he took part in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona with the Italian Under-23 side, under manager Cesare Maldini. Baggio made his international debut with the senior Italian squad under Arrigo Sacchi, on 21 December 1991, at the age of 20, in a 2–0 victory against Cyprus, in Foggia. He featured in the match along with fellow debutant Demetrio Albertini, who would play alongside Baggio in midfield with Italy for much of the 1990s. On 24 February, he scored his first goal for Italy, in Oporto, against Portugal.
After representing Italy during their 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, notably scoring the winning goal against Portugal, which allowed Italy to qualify for the tournament, Baggio was named a member of Italy's 1994 World Cup squad under Arrigo Sacchi. In his first World Cup, he combined with his unrelated namesake Roberto Baggio. Together, they helped Italy to reach the 1994 World Cup final, scoring decisive goals, only to lose to Brazil on penalties. Dino scored two goals in the tournament: his first was a decisive match-winning header, assisted by Giuseppe Signori, in Italy's first-round victory over Norway, and his second came from a strike from distance against Spain in the quarter-finals, assisted by Roberto Donadoni.
Baggio would continue to play in other tournaments for Italy throughout the 1990s, such as Euro '96, in which the Italians were eliminated in the first round. Baggio also played in every game for Italy at the 1998 World Cup under Cesare Maldini, which would prove to be his last major tournament with the Azzurri; Italy were eliminated on penalties once again by hosts and eventual champions France, after reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament. Baggio was initially in Dino Zoff's provisional 26-man Italy squad for Euro 2000, before missing the final cut. He made his final appearance for Italy on 13 November 1999, in a 3–1 home defeat to Belgium in an international friendly match.
In total, Baggio amassed 60 caps and scored 7 goals for the Italian national team between 1991 and 1999. He is remembered as a notable international player of the 90s by the Italian fans due to his World Cup performances, and as he was able to obtain a first-team midfield spot over many other talented players in their prime, such as Roberto Donadoni, Luigi di Biagio, Demetrio Albertini, Roberto Di Matteo, Nicola Berti, Alberigo Evani, Attilio Lombardo, Diego Fuser, Francesco Moriero, Sandro Cois, Stefano Fiore, Fernando De Napoli, Antonio Conte, Angelo Di Livio, Gianluca Pessotto, Carlo Ancelotti, Giancarlo Marocchi, Giuseppe Giannini, Giuseppe Signori, Roberto Baggio, Roberto Mancini, and Gianfranco Zola, among others.
Style of play
Baggio was a complete, hardworking, tenacious, and versatile player, who was capable of playing in various midfield positions, and he was deployed as a central midfielder and as a box-to-box midfielder throughout his career, although his primary position was in a defensive midfield role, where he excelled at breaking down the opposition's attacking plays. An aggressive defensive midfielder, he was gifted with strength, tackling ability, pace, positional sense, and stamina, as well as reliable technique and good vision and distribution, which also enabled him to aid his team creatively after winning back possession. Despite functioning primarily as a ball-winner who would then supply the ball to more creative midfielders, he was also able to contribute offensively with occasional goals due to his proficiency in the air, with his head, and due to his powerful, accurate shots and volleys from distance.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Italy||League||Coppa Italia||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1991/92||Inter Milan||Serie A||27||1|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2003/04||Blackburn Rovers||Premier League||9||1|
|Italy||League||Coppa Italia||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Italy national team|
- "'Other' Baggio ready to step into hero's role WORLD CUP 1994". Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- "Gli eroi in bianconero: Dino BAGGIO". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Hooligan Threat Overshadows German-Dutch Match". Article on International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 1 March 2008.[dead link]
- "Dino Baggio dà del venduto all' arbitro, Bergamo lo difende". Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- AC Parma SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2001 (Italian)
- "Inspired Leeds hold off Blackburn". BBC. 4 October 2003. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
- "Dino Baggio torna in terza categoria". Article on CorriereDelloSport.it (Italian). Retrieved 1 March 2008.
- "la Juve di Sacchi spazza il Portogallo". Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "Baggio 2 timbra il visto per l' America". Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- ""sono Dino, il Baggio dei gol pesanti " 23 giugno 1994: gol alla Norvegia 17 novembre 1993: gol al Portogallo". Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "Euro 2000 provisional squads". theguardian.com. 22 May 2000. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Nazionale in cifre: Baggio, Dino". http://www.figc.it/ (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Dino Baggio at National-Football-Teams.com
- National Stats. at FIGC (Italian)