Ex-Italian footballer Roberto Baggio injured in armed robbery

Image source, Getty Images

  • Author, Malu Cursino
  • Role, BBC news

Former Juventus and AC Milan footballer Roberto Baggio has been injured in an armed robbery at his home in northern Italy.

The incident started at 10pm local time (9pm BST) when at least five people broke into the 57-year-old’s villa in Altavilla Vicentina, local media reported.

The veteran footballer was taken to the emergency room in Arzignano and was treated with stitches to his forehead after a burglar pistol-whipped him.

In his first public speech since the incident, Baggio thanked well-wishers and added: “All that remains now is to overcome fear.”

Baggio added that “fortunately the violence I suffered only caused a few stitches in my body, bruises and a lot of fear.”

Corriere della Sera reported that the violent incident took place while Baggio and his family were watching Italy take on Spain in the European Championships.

Luca Zaia, the president of the Veneto region, said all Venetians hope Baggio can recover “from this bad evening”. He described the striker as the “symbolic champion of our football and our region”.

“What happened must be condemned without any ifs or buts,” Zaia said, adding that he hopes “the bandits will soon be brought to justice.”

The incident reportedly lasted about 40 minutes.

Baggio allegedly tried to stop the burglars, but one of the thieves hit him on the forehead with a gun, AFP news agency reported.

Shortly afterwards, he and his family were locked in a room while the perpetrators tore the house apart looking for valuables. It is not clear how much was taken during the robbery.

His family was said to be shocked by the incident in the Veneto region, but was not injured.

When the footballer felt it was safe to do so, he broke open the door of the room they were locked in and called the police.

According to Italian media, police have received CCTV footage of the incident and are investigating it.

Baggio was known as “Divin Codino” (the divine ponytail) during his time as a star in the national team and led his side to a World Cup final in the US in 1994.

But he missed the decisive penalty in the shootout, which gave Brazil their fourth World Cup victory.

He went on to play for both AC Milan and Inter Milan before retiring in 2004. He remains the only Italian to score at three World Cups and remains their joint top scorer in the competition.

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