One of Argentina’s greats and Fiorentina’s record breaking striker, Gabriel Batistuta has revealed that he has struggled to walk after his retirement from the game.
Speaking to Fifa.com about his commitment to the game and widespread rumours claiming he said that he had only played the game because he was good at it. The 48-year-old denied the adjudged meaning being ascribed to the statements.
He declared that his intention when he made some of the statements being alluded to was to get rid of the persistent press.
To drive home his true feelings, Batistuta pointed out that “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.”
He divulged that in 2014, he had asked doctors to amputate his legs because of the severe pain.
“I looked at Oscar Pistorius and said: ‘That’s my solution.’”
The doctors, however, carried out surgery to ease the pressure on his cartilage and tendons. This left him with mobility issues but also relieved him of the pain.
Popularly called Batigol in Argentina and El Angel (The Angel) in Italy, Batistuta retired in 2005. The Argentine scored 296 goals in 528 club matches.
He played 78 times for Argentina and scored an impressive 56 goals in an international career that spanned 11 years.