32 Facts About Gabriel Batistuta


When Fiorentina was relegated to Serie B in 1993, Gabriel Batistuta stayed with the club and helped them return to the top-flight league a year later.


Gabriel Batistuta became an icon in Florence; the Fiorentina fans erected a life-size bronze statue of him in 1996, in recognition of his performances for the club.


At international level, Gabriel Batistuta was Argentina's all-time leading goalscorer with 56 goals in 78 official matches, a record he held until 21 June 2016, when he was surpassed by Lionel Messi.


Gabriel Batistuta participated in three FIFA World Cups, scoring 10 goals, making him Argentina's second top scorer in the competition after Messi, and the joint tenth-highest World Cup goalscorer of all time.


Gabriel Batistuta is the only player in football history to score two hat-tricks in different World Cups.


Gabriel Batistuta was born on 1 February 1969 to slaughterhouse worker Omar Gabriel Batistuta and school secretary Gloria Zilli, in the town of Avellaneda, province of Santa Fe, Argentina, but grew up in the nearby city of Reconquista.


Gabriel Batistuta has three older sisters, Elisa, Alejandra, and Gabriela.


Thanks to good performances in the Italian championship and with the Argentina national team, Gabriel Batistuta gained fame and respect.


Gabriel Batistuta filmed several commercials and was invited onto numerous TV shows, but in spite of this, Batistuta always remained a low-profile family man.


In 1997, Gabriel Batistuta's second son, Lucas, was born, and a third son, Joaquin, followed in 1999.


Two years after Shamel was born, Gabriel Batistuta was loaned to Inter.


In 2003, after 12 years in Italy, the family moved to Qatar where Gabriel Batistuta had accepted a lucrative celebrity playing contract with a local team, Al-Arabi, ending his career there in 2005.


Gabriel Batistuta was away from home, his family, and his girlfriend Irina, sleeping in a room at the stadium, and had a weight problem that slowed his progress.


In mid-1989, Gabriel Batistuta made the leap to one of Argentina's biggest clubs, River Plate, where he scored 17 goals and River Plate won Argentine Primera Division 1990.


Passarella declared at that time "when Gabriel Batistuta finds a team that be able to play to him he will be lethal" and highlighted his professionalism.


In 1990, Gabriel Batistuta joined River Plate's arch rivals, Boca Juniors.


Gabriel Batistuta initially found it hard to find his best form, in part not playing in his position.


Gabriel Batistuta finished the season as the league's top scorer as Boca Juniors won the championship.


Gabriel Batistuta had a fine start in Serie A, scoring 13 goals in his debut season.


The fee paid for Gabriel Batistuta became the highest fee ever paid for a player over the age of 30.


Gabriel Batistuta wore his age on the back of his Roma shirt in 2002, number 33.


Now aged 34, Gabriel Batistuta failed to find form with Roma and was loaned out to Inter Milan, scoring two goals in twelve matches, although he did provide assists for Christian Vieri.


Gabriel Batistuta sought a move to England to play with Fulham, but the deal never transpired.


Gabriel Batistuta departed Italy for Qatar in 2003, joining Al-Arabi on a free transfer in a deal worth $8 million.


Gabriel Batistuta ended the season by netting 25 goals, thus surpassing the record for most goals scored, which was previously held by Qatari legend Mansour Muftah.


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


Gabriel Batistuta struck shots with such controlled violence you'd think he had a vendetta against balls.


Gabriel Batistuta possessed an excellent positional sense, as well as an ability to anticipate defenders in the area, score acrobatic goals from volleys or bicycle kicks, and strike the ball first time from tight angles while on the run.


Gabriel Batistuta was highly regarded due to his accurate heading and powerful free-kick taking abilities; although he was a competent penalty taker, his conversion rate from the spot throughout his career was less reliable.


Diego Maradona stated that Gabriel Batistuta is the best striker he has ever seen play the game.


Gabriel Batistuta often celebrated a goal by pretending he was firing a machine gun.


Gabriel Batistuta suffered several injuries throughout his career, which often limited his playing time and fitness, in particular in his later career, which would eventually force him to retire.