One of the best strikers for Argentina ever, Gabriel Batistuta was pretty good in front of goal during the 1990s and early 2000s.
He had played his prime years in Italy’s Serie A with the likes of Fiorentina, AS Roma and Inter Milan before calling it a day in 2005. He managed more than 200 Serie A league appearances and had also managed to win the title at Roma in 2001 alongside Francesco Totti.
He was always remembered to be a terrific hardworker making the runs for his teammates and creating lot of openings for others to score despite being the striker in the starting lineup. However, his efforts have taken a serious toll on his body as the player now revealed that he could barely walk after the day he retired from the game.
He said:” I did say it, but I was trying to protect myself against the press and the public. I said it so they’d stop asking me things.
“You have to remember I was playing in Italy in the good times. There was a lot of pressure and everyone talked about football all the time, which I found pretty boring.
“It goes without saying that I love the game, the tactics, the training and everything that happens on the pitch. I wasn’t that excited about football when I was young, but it did become my passion.
“I ended up living and breathing football. Now, I have difficulty walking because of it, because I gave more than I had to give.”
Batistuta had an incredible 17 years at the highest level and during his peak years he was linked with moves to Real Madrid and Manchester United. In 2014, he also revealed that he asked his doctor to amputate his legs as he could not bear the pain.
Speaking in 2014, he said: “I left football and overnight I couldn’t walk. I went to see Doctor Avanzi [an Orthopaedic specialist] and told him to cut off my legs.
“He looked at me and told me I was crazy. I couldn’t bear it any longer. I can’t put in to words just how bad the pain was.
“I looked at Oscar Pistorius and said: ‘That’s my solution.’”
Batistuta also held the record for most goals for Argentina before Lionel Messi overtook him. He is best remembered for his hattricks (1994, 1998) in two different world cups for the South American nation.