Gabriel Batistuta and Italy, Gabriel Batistuta is Florence: a beautiful story full of goals, cups, smiles and maybe a bit of incomprehension. "All the mess of this summer made some people think that I was no longer the Batistuta of previous years. Fortunately, just a few matches were needed to stop stupid suspicious and poisonous critics, that will be ready anyway with fresh arguments. Last year there were also terrible rumours about my family. It’s OK to criticise the soccer player, give him 4 if he plays bad or doesn’t make a goal, but you can’t make a direct attack at the man. Because it risks to overthrow the most important thing, the affections".
Ready, go: Bati convoked a press conference in Florence to calm the indiscreet rumours that became more insistent and insinuating. From that moment on, everything came together, people understood how Gabriel was made, an archangel in the camp that is not afraid of yelling, especially if touched in his private life, from the indecent rumours.
He had a lot of prestigious proposals for this summer: Barcelona, Madrid, in both borders, Manchester and the black/blue Milan before Ronaldo’s arrival. "Instead he stood with Florence. Soon he will change house, Irina found another bigger and calmer house, at Fiesole’s hills. Being near the stadium is nice, we like it because Lucas was born here and Thiago has grown up here, but all of Florence knows where we live and I don’t like to be seen".
It’s better to think about something else. Make goals, for example, something that Gabriel knows how to do very well. " Who runs the statistics says that I’ve already done more than two hundred, but personally I am convinced that I’ve done a thousand. Because I like every kind of goal, also the training ones".c/o of Adelina
At home between Batistuta juniors’ Walt Disney cassettes, father jealously conserves two precious pieces: "Boca ‘91", a video from the Argentinean journal "El Grafico" with the wonderful acts from the team where Bati was the arm and Diego Latorre the mind, and " La carica dei 101", all the Italian goals that Italia Uno Sport dedicated to him in two programs when he marked the triple cipher with the Fiorentina. At Batistuta’s home, the discussion on soccer is a taboo. " Irina doesn’t like it, when she’s able to she comes to see me at the stadium, but just because she’s a soccer player’s wife. And then I hate to see the matches on the T.V, especially those of the European cups: I think that instead of sitting on the sofa, I could be there in the field running and fighting, I get angry and turn the T.V. off immediately".
Batistuta out of the camp is a tender father that plays a lot with Thiago. Almost six years old , with a cute look, and a non-common intelligence for children of that age. "On the terrace we make epic matches. He closes his eyes and kicks, he looks like an inexpert father..." And in the surroundings of Via Volta it happenes frequently that a car driver sees someone that looks like Batistuta running after a ball in the street. But instead of "looking like" it is him, Gabriel. Incredible but true. "Also, Lucas gives me lots of satisfaction. He eats so much and then has to burn all the energy: he’s an earthquake, Irina and Tany, our housekeeper, have to work very hard to keep him under control"
To close the circle of happiness Bati the father is just missing the moon, a daughter he would call Selene. "Now I win 2-0" says Irina with her sweet smile: "I prefer boys, Gabriel wants a girl. We’ll see in the future".
And for the future, at least the professional one, Bati has a determinate time: this June 10th starts the World Championship, and he, Batigol, the man of goals with the National Argentinean shirt won’t miss it. The last time Passsarella left him at home, but he was also the first one to say that of the 22 players convoked to France ’98, Bati was the only one who has the aeroplane ticket guaranteed.
Gabriel doesn’t seem to have much faith. "Passarella knows me well, just as he knows my friend Balbo. I appreciated his declaration, but we are missing more than six months and you must live soccer day by day.
Running after the 100 goals in championship (aim that Abel Balbo obtained
in October with the triplex in the Napoli) and for the 50 goals in the
"Selección". Gabriel Omar Batistuta runs after a story that permitted him,
(a province boy who up until 16 years old played soccer by himself on the
streets of his town Reconquista), to take for himself Diego Armando
Maradona’s numbers. "Yes, it’s incredible to think that I did more goals
than Diego in Italy, and with the National shirt, but between Diego and I
there’s such a difference: I am paid for making goals, Diego was asked not
just for that, but also for the show, the pure and real one, the heel
kicks, all those delicious things that go in the archives, but that is
soccer’s salt". Meanwhile, Batigol will take care of the pepper.