Former football legend Roberto Baggio injured in armed robbery at Italian villa

Roberto Baggio

223rd June 2024 – (Arzignano) Former football legend Roberto Baggio has fallen victim to an alarming armed robbery at his residence in northern Italy. The incident unfolded at approximately 10pm local time (9pm BST) when a group of at least five individuals forcibly entered the 57-year-old footballer’s villa in Altavilla Vicentina, as reported by local media.

The renowned veteran footballer was promptly rushed to an emergency room in Arzignano, where he received stitches on his forehead after one of the assailants struck him with a firearm. In his first public statement since the incident, Baggio expressed gratitude for the well-wishes received, stating, “Now all that remains is to overcome the fear.” He further acknowledged that the violence inflicted upon him resulted in only minor injuries, bruises, and a profound sense of fear.

According to Corriere della Sera, the distressing episode occurred while Baggio and his family were engrossed in watching the Italy vs. Spain match during the European Championships. Luca Zaia, the president of the Veneto region, conveyed the collective hopes of the local community for Baggio’s swift recovery from “this bad evening.” He described the esteemed striker as the “symbolic champion of our football and our region.”

Mr. Zaia unequivocally condemned the incident, stating that it should be met with absolute condemnation. He expressed his desire for the culprits to be swiftly brought to justice. The ordeal reportedly lasted for approximately 40 minutes, during which Baggio valiantly attempted to thwart the burglars. Regrettably, one of the perpetrators struck him on the forehead with a firearm, as reported by the AFP news agency.

Subsequently, Baggio and his family were confined to a room while the intruders ransacked the premises in search of valuables. The exact extent of the stolen items remains unclear. Although shaken by the incident, Baggio’s family emerged physically unharmed from the ordeal in the Veneto region.

When Baggio deemed it safe, he managed to break down the door of the room in which they were locked and promptly alerted the police. Italian media reports indicate that the authorities have obtained CCTV footage of the incident and are actively investigating the matter.

Renowned as “Divin Codino” (the divine ponytail), Baggio attained fame during his tenure in the national team, leading them to the World Cup final in the United States in 1994. However, his decisive penalty miss during the shootout handed Brazil their fourth World Cup victory. Baggio’s illustrious career also included playing for AC Milan and Inter Milan before retiring in 2004. He retains the distinction of being the only Italian player to have scored at three World Cups and remains their joint top goal scorer in the competition.