His Fans

Bati statue Batistuta's rapport with the fans is unique, we may say it's indescribable. For the city of "Firenze", Fiorentina is everything, so the one who helps them win, the one who fights for them, the one that brings the "Viola" colors high in the eyes of the world becomes a god. Batistuta has done all this and more, so he has become "Firenze's" hero. It's the only living soccer champion ever to be gifted with a statue by the fans. A life size statue done in his image. A statue immortalizing his world known triumphant image holding the side line flag. This was Bati's way of celebrating his goals in l995. At the statues pedestal you can read:

"To Gabriel Batistuta, indomitable warrior, tenacious in his quest and loyal of heart"


Batistuta Bati told us that when he arrived at "Firenze" the thing that impressed him the most was the love the people have toward Giancarlo Antognoni, who was for years Fiorentina's most important player. Antognoni is today Fiorentina's general director. Bati's dream was that some day he'll be able to enter the fans heart like Antognoni has. He has succeded, little by little, goal by goal, by declining offers from bigger clubs, sacrificing himself by staying with Fiorentina when they were relegated to Serie B, bringing back Fiorentina to Serie A the next season. He was the key player for Fiorentina in bringing to Florence their first big title in years. For seven years, Fiorentina is Batistuta and Batistuta is Fiorentina. It's unthinkable for the "Viola" fans a Fiorentina without Batistuta. When some years back there were talks that Bati would be leaving "Firenze", that there would be a transfer possibility, the fans grew even closer to the player. In l997 when Batistuta's transfer to Inter for 35 million dollars was almost a certainity, Edmundo was brought an presented to the "Viola" followers at the Franchi Stadium. The people at the stadium sang uninterruptedly:


"Bati, Bati, Bati, Batigol"


Fiorentina winning the Coppa Italia With the victory of "Coppa Italia" in l996, Bati, already revered by the "tifosi", became the city hero. He became a symbol for an entire city that at long last after many years was able to win something important again. So it was that in May 18 at 3:00 a.m. inside the Franchi Stadium the "tifosi" instead of sorrounding and cheering around their most important trophy in years, they were all cheering and dancing around Batistuta, their leader, their champion. This admiration, this love grew 'by leaps and bounds' when some month later he won almost by himself the "Supercoppa de Lega", were he astonished the world when after scoring his third goal against Milan he shouted in front of the T.V. cameras, "Te amo Irina", "I love you Irina'. The love of the people of Florence is such that he was nominated to receive the award of Florence Honorary Citizen.

His face, his name, his images celebrating his goals you may find them in key chains, shirts, t-shirts, scarfs, mugs, glasses, hats and so on. A perfume and a line of body products sell world wide carries his name.

Fiorentina winning the Coppa Italia
The day Bati scored his 100 goals in serie A, l00 soccer balls were thrown into the pitch while the "tifosi" showed a giant sign which expresses the city, the "tifosi's" thoughts:

"CENTO VOLTE GRAZIE, BATI 'A HUNDRED THANKS, BATI'

Because to be great you don't need to win "Il Pallone D'Oro"




...his family Bati today...