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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Roberto Baggio Wins 2010 Nobel Peace Summit Award

Image credit: Limina Edizioni srl.
Roberto Baggio has added another award to a long list of honors. This time the distinction has nothing to do with world football.

"I premi Nobel per la pace hanno assegnato a Roberto Baggio il Peace Summit Award 2010, il riconoscimento che annualmente viene dato alla personalità che più si è impegnata verso i più bisognosi. Il 43enne ex calciatore italiano Pallone d'Oro nel 1993, oggi presidente del settore tecnico della Figc, è stato scelto per il suo aiuto alle organizzazioni benefiche e per il suo impegno nella campagna di liberazione di Aung San Suu Kyi, leader politica birmana".
"The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has awarded the 2010 Peace Summit Award to Roberto Baggio, an annual recognition given to the most deserving person. The 43 year-old former Italian footballer who was the Balon d'Or winner in 1993, currently President of the Technical Sector at the Italian Federation, was chosen for his beneficial assistance and for his work in the campaign to free Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese political leader."
"Nelle motivazioni viene anche ricordato l'aiuto nel finanziamento per la costruzione di ospedali in giro per il mondo, l'impegno dopo il terremoto di Haiti e altre battaglie di solidarietà e per la difesa dei diritti umani. La cerimonia di premiazione è in programma ad Hiroshima venerdì".
"The other motivations that were also recognized were the financial assistance for the construction of hospitals around the world, his work after the Haitian earthquake, other battles for solidarity and the defense of human rights. The award ceremony will be held in Hiroshima, Japan on Friday."
"Nell'albo d'oro del premio compaiono il musicista inglese Peter Gabriel, gli attori americani George Clooney e Don Cheadle, e l'attore, comico e regista italiano Roberto Benigni."
"Other award recipients are the English musician, Peter Gabriel, the American actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle, and the Italian actor, comedian and director, Roberto Benigni."
Baggio on the Award

"Dividerò il premio che mi verrà consegnato in Giappone con tutta la brava gente della mia terra ferita a morte". "Io parto per il Giappone con il cuore in tormento".
"I will share the award that will be given in Japan with all of the great people of my world who were injured to death... I depart for Japan with a heavy heart."
Italian source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 9 Nov. 2010.

“As for the penalty, I don’t want to brag but I’ve only ever missed a couple of penalties in my career. And they were because the goalkeeper saved them not because I shot wide. That’s just so you understand that there is no easy explanation for what happened at Pasadena. When I went up to the spot I was pretty lucid, as much as one can be in that kind of situation. I knew Taffarel always dived so I decided to shoot for the middle, about halfway up, so he couldn’t get it with his feet. It was an intelligent decision because Taffarel did go to his left, and he would never have got to the shot I planned.

Unfortunately, and I don’t know how, the ball went up three metres and flew over the crossbar. As for taking the penalty in the first place, I was knackered, but I was the team’s penalty taker. I’ve never run away from my responsibilities. Only those who have the courage to take a penalty miss them. I failed that time. Period. And it affected me for years.

It was the worst moment of my career. I still dream about it. If I could erase a moment from my career, it would be that one."\

Source: Guardian Unlimited, 19 May 2002.

A Rare Miss

Photo credit: Chris Wilkins/Getty Images.

In his Azzurri career, the spot kick at the 1994 World Cup final was his only miss. Daniele Massaro and Franco Baresi also missed penalties but Baggio's miss seems to garner the most attention. According to his autobiography in 2001, Baggio at that point had converted 90% (104 out of 116) during his career which is an Italian record. A few months ago, he was named the new President of the Technical Sector at the Italian FA. He is one of the most-loved Italian players of all times.

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