Baggio: ‘I’m happy without football’

Former Italy star Roberto Baggio has left the world of football behind and confessed he loves life in the countryside. ‘I’m happy without football’.

In the second half of his life, Roberto Baggio has changed path completely and the Ballon d’Or winner from 1993 said he has escaped to the countryside ‘to be in touch with nature’.

In excerpts of the interview, set to be released in full tomorrow, the former Italy international spoke about his second life and happiness without football.

“I’m happy without football,” Baggio told Il Venerdi. “First of all, to be in touch with nature, is the most beautiful thing. I work with something that satisfies me.

“I enjoy the little things, that in the end are the most beautiful and fulfilling.”

Baggio believes all the players from his time would have loved to play with the same protection and new rules of modern football.

“Not just me, but all the others from my time, especially the attackers, would be happy to play with these new rules that protect them,” Baggio continued.

“If I think about the penalties and the nine metres and 15 centimetres, I would definitely have enjoyed that in my time too.”

The former Juventus, Inter and Milan hero still receives a lot of letters of affection from fans and admitted it’s ‘surprising’ after such a long time away from football.

“It’s a beautiful thing, surprising because of all the years that have passed,” Baggio continued. “But I believe it’s the simplicity that has always distinguished me and my life. Maybe the people appreciate this.”

Two of Italian footballs greatest heroes Diego Maradona and Paolo Rossi died last year and Baggio was emotional when he was asked about his two friends.

“They were two persons we were all very close to, the whole world of football,” Baggio said. “They wrote an era and the story of the World Cup.

“I was fortunate to have them as friends and I have maybe lost them more than anyone else.”

Stadiums will gradually reopen this summer, with a minimum capacity of 25 per cent during Euro 2020.

Baggio said it’s been ‘sad’ to see football without people in the stands the last year.

“Football without fans is very sad,” he continued. “The quality of the games, the interest and the importance are lacking without the fans, it’s really sad.”

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