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Azzurri star Roberto Baggio robbed at home while watching Italy-Spain game

Roberto Baggio hugs his teammate Fabio Petruzzi as they walk off the pitch at the Brescia Mario Rigamonti stadium, 9 May 2004
Roberto Baggio hugs his teammate Fabio Petruzzi as they walk off the pitch at the Brescia Mario Rigamonti stadium, 9 May 2004 Copyright AP Photo/Felice Calabro'
Copyright AP Photo/Felice Calabro'
By Aleksandar Brezar
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Known as 'Divine Ponytail' for his specific hairstyle and 'Little Buddha' for his Buddhist beliefs, Baggio opted for a private and modest life after retiring from football.

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Italian football star Roberto Baggio was injured during a robbery at his rural villa near Vicenza on Thursday night.

At least five armed robbers broke into Baggio's family home in Altavilla Vicentina while he was watching Italy's game against Spain at the Euro 2024 tournament, domestic media reported.

After he confronted the assailants, one of them struck him with the butt of a gun. The robbers managed to steal cash and jewellery after locking him and his family in a separate room. His injury required stitches, but no one else was harmed.

"My family and I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful display of affection we have received. Truly, thank you," Baggio said in a statement made public by his manager, Vittorio Petrone.

"In these circumstances anything can happen, but fortunately the violence I suffered only caused me a few stitches, bruises and a lot of fear. Now, overcoming that fear is all that remains."

The police are conducting an investigation into the crime, authorities said.

Baggio is one of Italy's biggest football icons, rising to international fame during the 1994 World Cup.

The Azzurri were the tournament's sensation despite ending up beaten by Brazil in the finals by 3–2 on penalties after a dramatic 0-0 draw.

Brazil's goalie Taffarel consoles Italy's Roberto Baggio after the Brazilians won the World Cup with a 3-2 penalty shootout at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, 17 July 2024
Brazil's goalie Taffarel consoles Italy's Roberto Baggio after the Brazilians won the World Cup with a 3-2 penalty shootout at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, 17 July 2024Luca Bruno/AP

A prolific finisher, Baggio remains the Italian national team's fourth-best goalscorer together with another superstar, Alessandro Del Piero.

A textbook trequartista, he was widely lauded as one of the world's greatest forwards and included in Pele's FIFA 100, a list of best players of all time.

Known as "Divine Ponytail" for his signature hairstyle and "Little Buddha" for his Buddhist beliefs, Baggio opted for a private and largely modest life after retiring from football.

In a rare social media post, he was seen driving an old Fiat Panda on his Altavilla Vicentina estate.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates endowed him with the Man of Peace award in 2010.

Spain won the match on Thursday night, beating Italy 1-0.

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