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Gabriel Batistuta
Gabriel batistuta.jpg
Personal information
Full name Gabriel Omar Batistuta
Date of birth 1 February 1969 (1969-02-01) (age 41)
Place of birth Reconquista, Argentina
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position striker
Youth career
1987–1988 Newell's Old Boys
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1989 Newell's Old Boys 24 (7)
1989–1990 River Plate 21 (4)
1990–1991 Boca Juniors 30 (13)
1991–2000 Fiorentina 269 (168)
2000–2003 Roma 63 (30)
2003 Internazionale (loan) 12 (2)
2003–2005 Al Arabi 21 (25)
Total 440 (249)
National team
1991–2002 Argentina 78 (56)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Gabriel Omar Batistuta (born 1 February 1969), nicknamed Batigol, is a former professional footballer. The prolific Argentine striker played most of his club football at Fiorentina in Italy, and he is the ninth top scorer of all time in the Italian Serie A league, with 184 goals in 318 matches. On the international level, he is the all-time highest scorer for Argentina's national team, with 56 goals in 78 national team matches, and he represented his country at three World Cups. In 2004, he was named in the FIFA 100 list of the "125 Greatest Living Footballers".

When his club Fiorentina was relegated to Serie B in 1993, Batistuta stayed with the club and helped it return to the top-flight league a year later. A popular sporting figure in Florence, the Fiorentina fans erected a life-size bronze statue of him in 1996, in recognition of his performances for Fiorentina. [1] He never won the Italian league with Fiorentina, but when he moved to Roma in 2000, he finally won the Serie A championship to crown his career in Italy. He played his last professional season in Qatar with Al-Arabi before he retired in 2005.



Batistuta was born on 1 February 1969, to slaughterhouse worker Omar Batistuta and school secretary Gloria Batistuta, in the town of Avellaneda, province of Santa Fe, Argentina, but grew up in the near city of Reconquista. He has three younger sisters, named Elisa, Alejandra, and Gabriela.

At the age of 16, he met Irina Fernández, his future wife, at her quinceañera, a rite of passage on her 15th birthday. She is reported to have ignored him but five years later, on 28 December 1990, they were married at Saint Roque Church. The couple moved to Florence, Italy, in 1991, and a year later their first son, Thiago, was born. Thanks to good performances in the Italian championship and with the Argentine national team, Batistuta gained fame and respect. He filmed several commercials and was invited onto numerous TV shows, but in spite of this, Batistuta always remained a low-profile family man.

In 1996, during Fiorentina's 2-1 victory at Milan, he celebrated scoring the match's decisive goal by saying Te amo, Irina ('I love you, Irina', to his wife) for the cameras. The mix of sex appeal and faithfulness cemented Batistuta's heart-throb reputation among Argentine and Italian women. In 1997, Batistuta's second son, Lucas, was born, and a third son, Joaquín, followed in 1999. He now has a fourth son Shamel. In 2000, Batistuta and his family moved to Rome, where he played for Roma. Two years after Shamel was born, Batistuta was loaned to Inter. In 2002, after more than 10 years in Italy, the family moved to Qatar where Batistuta had accepted a lucrative celebrity playing contract with a local team, Al-Arabi.

Batistuta ended his career at Al-Arabi, retiring in March 2005, after a series of injuries that prevented him from playing. Soon afterwards he moved to Perth, Australia. In April 2006, the city's established A-league franchise, Perth Glory was put up for sale however Batistuta was not interested in the purchase seeing no real potential in the club.[2]

Club career

Early career

As a child, Batistuta preferred other sports to football. Because of his height he played basketball, but after Argentina's victory in the 1978 FIFA World Cup, in which he was particularly impressed by the skills of Mario Kempes, he devoted himself to football. After playing with friends on the streets and in the small Grupo Alegria club, he joined the local Platense junior team. While with Platense he was selected for the Reconquista team that won the provincial championship by beating Newell's Old Boys from Rosario. His 2 goals drew the attention of the opposition team, and he signed for them in 1988.

Newell's Old Boys

Batistuta signed professional forms with Newell's Old Boys, whose coach was Marcelo Bielsa, who would later become Batistuta's coach with the Argentine national team. Things did not come easily for Batistuta during his first year with the club. He was away from home, his family, and his girlfriend Irina, sleeping in a room at the stadium, and had a weight problem that slowed him down. At the end of that year he was loaned to a smaller team, Deportivo Italiano, of Buenos Aires, with whom he participated in the Carnevale Cup in Italy, ending as top scorer with 3 goals.

River Plate

In mid-1989, Batistuta made the leap to one of Argentina's biggest clubs, River Plate, where he scored 17 goals. However, all did not run smoothly. He had numerous run-ins with coach Daniel Passarella (with whom he had later confrontations on the national squad) and he was dropped from the squad in the middle of the season.

Boca Juniors

In 1990, Batistuta signed for River's arch-rivals, Boca Juniors. Having gone so long without playing, he initially found it hard to find his best form. However, at the beginning of 1991 Oscar Tabárez became Boca's coach, and he gave Batistuta the support and confidence to become the league's top scorer that season as Boca won the championship.


While playing for Argentina in the 1991 Copa América, the vice-president of Fiorentina was impressed by Batistuta's skills and signed him for the Italian club. He had a fine start in Serie A, scoring 13 goals in his debut season. However, the following season (Serie A 1992-93) Fiorentina lost in the relegation battle and were demoted to the Serie B division, despite Batistuta's 16 season goals. The club returned to Serie A after one season in Serie B, with the contribution of 16 goals from Batistuta and the management of Claudio Ranieri.

At Fiorentina, Batistuta found his best form. He was the top scorer of the 1994-95 season with 26 goals, and he broke Ezio Pascutti's 30-year-old record by scoring in all of the first 11 matches of the season. In the 1995-96 season Fiorentina won the Italian Cup and Super Coppa.

After failure to win the Italian championship with Fiorentina, Batistuta started considering a transfer to a bigger team. In an effort to keep Batistuta, Fiorentina hired Giovanni Trapattoni as coach and promised to do everything to win the Scudetto. After an excellent start to the season, Batistuta suffered an injury that kept him out of action for more than a month. Losing momentum, Fiorentina lost the lead and finished the season in third place, which gave them the chance to participate in the Champions League in the following season.

Scudetto with Roma

Batistuta stayed at Fiorentina for the 1999-00 season, tempted by the chance of winning both the Scudetto and the Champions League. After a promising start in both competitions, the team only reached seventh in the league and were eliminated in the second round group phase of the European tournament. The following season, he was transferred to Roma in a deal worth €42.662M.[3] Although a knee injury restricted his number of appearances, he scored 20 goals for Roma in his first season. He finally realized his dream of winning a major trophy as Roma clinched the Scudetto for the first time since 1983. The following season with Roma, he changed his shirt number from 18 to 20 in reference to the number of goals he had scored during the Scudetto winning campaign. He also wore his age on the back of his Roma jersey in 2002, number 33.

Late career

Batistuta failed to find form with Roma and was loaned out to Internazionale; however, he failed to make an impression (scoring 2 goals) and departed for Qatari team Al-Arabi. In Qatar, he broke the record for most goals scored that was held by Qatari Legend Mansour Mouftah by scoring 24 goals. He scored more goals for the club than the number of games he played. He was awarded for being the top scorer in all Arab leagues in 2004 with a Golden Boot.[citation needed]

International career

In 1991, Batistuta was selected to play for Argentina in the Copa América held in Chile, where he finished the tournament as top scorer with six goals as Argentina romped to victory.

In 1993, Batistuta played in his second Copa América, this time held in Ecuador, which Argentina again won. The 1994 World Cup, held in USA, was a disappointment: after a promising start Argentina were beaten by Romania in the last 16. The morale of the team was seriously affected by Diego Maradona's doping suspension. Despite the disappointing Argentine exit, Batistuta scored four goals in as many games, including a hat-trick in their opening game against Greece.

During the qualification matches for the 1998 World Cup (with former River Plate manager Daniel Passarella) Batistuta was left out of the majority of the games after falling out with the coach over team rules. The two eventually put the dispute aside and Batistuta was recalled for the tournament. In the game against Jamaica, he recorded the second hat trick of his World Cup career, becoming the 4th player to achieve this (the others were Sándor Kocsis, Just Fontaine, and Gerd Müller) and the first to score a hat trick in 2 World Cups. Unfortunately, Argentina were knocked out of the World Cup the Netherlands courtesy of a last-minute Dennis Bergkamp winner after the two sides had held out for a 1-1 draw for almost the entire match.

After a good series of performances by Argentina in the qualification matches for the 2002 World Cup, hopes were high that the South Americans - now managed by Marcelo Bielsa - could win the trophy, and Batistuta announced that he planned to quit the national team at the end of the tournament, which Argentina aimed to win. But Argentina's "group of death" saw the team fall at the first hurdle, only managing a victory against Nigeria. They later fell to England 1-0 and managed a mere 1-1 tie against Sweden. This meant that the team was knocked out in the opening round for the first time since 1962.


Batistuta retired in 2005 and moved to Perth, Australia, but has since moved back to Argentina. Despite having completed his coaching badges in Argentina, he currently has no involvement with football (instead he prefers to play polo and golf). He expressed an interest in coaching Australia's national team and Argentina's team. [4] During the 2006 FIFA World Cup he worked as a commentator for Televisa Deportes. Batistuta currently runs his own construction company in Argentina.

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
1988-89 Newell's Old Boys Primera División 16 4
1989-90 River Plate Primera División 7 4
1989-90 Boca Juniors Primera División 10 2
1990-91 19 11
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1991-92 Fiorentina Serie A 27 13
1992-93 32 16
1993-94 Serie B 26 16
1994-95 Serie A 32 26
1995-96 31 19 9
1996-97 32 13 1 4
1997-98 31 21 3
1998-99 28 21 5 1
1999-00 30 23 6
2000-01 Roma Serie A 28 20 1
2001-02 23 6
2002-03 12 4 1 1
2002-03 Internazionale Serie A 12 2
Qatar League Emir of Qatar Cup League Cup Asia Total
2003-04 Al-Arabi First Division 18 25
2004-05 3 0
Total Argentina 52 21 71 23
Italy 344 200 430 242
Qatar 21 25 23 26
Career Total 417 246 524 291


  • Serie A (Division 1) Italian Championship (with Roma) 2000-2001
  • Italian Supercup (with ACF Fiorentina) 1996, (with Roma) 2001
  • Argentine Football Writers' Footballer of the Year 1998
  • Italian Cup (with Fiorentina) 1995-96
  • Serie A Capocannoniere (Top Scorer), 26 goals (with Fiorentina) 1994-95
  • Coppa Italia Top Scorer (8 goals) 1995-96
  • Copa América (with Argentina) 1991, 1993
  • Copa América Top Scorer, 6 goals (with Argentina) 1991
  • Top Scorer of The Qatari League with a record breaking 25 goals in 21 games
  • Top Scorer in all Arab leagues, awarded with a Golden Boot
  • Batistuta set a new Serie A record by scoring in 11 consecutive Serie A games
  • Top goalscorer for Argentina (56 goals)
  • Top goalscorer for Fiorentina (168 goals)
  • Serie A 9th Top Goalscorer of all times with 184 goals
  • Confederations Cup (with Argentina) 1992
  • FIFA 100
  • FIFA World Player of the Year 3rd Place 1999
  • Copa Kirin:
    • Winners (1): 1992

Artemio Franchi Trophy

  • Winner (1): 1993


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Gabriel Omar Batistuta (born 1 February 1969) is a former professional footballer who played as a striker for the Argentine national team. He played most of his club football at ACF Fiorentina in Italy.



  • I've always given everything for every team I've played for so that the ordinary fans, the people in the stadium, could identify with me. I owe a lot to the fans of Roma, Fiorentina and Argentina. They were the reason I played, my inspiration. I always worked hard to improve my game, to prove to myself that I could be one of the best for as long as possible. To be honest, I couldn’t care less what the others think.[1]
  • When I was playing football I never enjoyed it that much, I was never happy ... if I scored two goals, I wanted a third, I always wanted more. Now it’s all over I can look back with satisfaction, but I never felt that way when I was playing.[2]

About Gabriel Batistuta

  • [..] I was watching him in training for the first couple of days and he was one of the worst trainers I'd ever seen [...] His technique was lousy, his shots were going wide – but then he scored ten goals in the first five or six games and I realised what a player he was. (Brian Laudrup, his ex-Fiorentina teammate, 2006). [3]


  1. Batistuta's quiet goodbye. (11 July 2005). Retrieved on 2006-08-13.
  2. Batistuta's quiet goodbye. (11 July 2005). Retrieved on 2006-08-13.
  3. Where are they now? Brian Laudrup, FIFA, February 3, 2006.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Gabriel Batistuta
Personal information
Full name Gabriel Omar Batistuta
Date of birth 1 February 1969 (1969-02-01) (age 42)
Place of birth    Reconquista, Santa Fe, Argentina
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
Newell's Old Boys
River Plate
Boca Juniors
Internazionale Milano (loan)
Al-Arabi Doha
National team
1991-2002 Argentina

Gabriel Batistuta (born 1 February 1969) is a former Argentine football player. He has played for Argentina national team.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1988/89Newell's Old BoysPrimera División247
1989/90River PlatePrimera División214
1990/91Boca JuniorsPrimera División3013
1991/92FiorentinaSerie A2713
1993/94Serie B2616
1994/95Serie A3226
2000/01RomaSerie A2820
2002/03Internazionale MilanoSerie A122
2003/04Al-Arabi DohaStars League1825
CountryArgentina 7524
Italy 344200
Qatar 2125
Total 440249

International career statistics


Argentina national team


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