Football fans who grew up in the '90s look away now: Roberto Baggio turns 50 today. Fifty. It seems like only the blink of an eye since 'The Divine Ponytail' was tearing it up at USA '94 before missing that penalty, whilst regularly lighting up Sundays with his dazzling displays on Gazetta Football Italia, yet it's been over ten years since the legendary forward retired. The game has been poorer since.
Baggio illuminated football fields across Italy with an iridescence seldom seen in the football today, exhibiting a level of artistry which truly upheld the concept of "the beautiful game". Injuries ravaged his career and threatened to cruelly curtail it prematurely, yet Il Divin Codino defied the odds to continue playing just shy of 40, his ability to amaze never letting up.
Today, Baggio is quite rightly held in the highest of esteem as one of the sport's greatest ever players, and it's only proper to celebrate his landmark 50th birthday with a gushing appraisal of his ten finest goals - though restricting this list to that number was by no means easy. It was a pleasure trying, though.
Buon compleanno, Roberto!