Posted on 08/17/2008

Video filmed on the March 25, 2008

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Interview Batistuta - part 2 (ESPN - 12.03.2008)

Là encore, si quelqu'un pouvait noter ce qui est dit dans cette interview... ce serait vraiment sympa...
9 years ago.
Bati: When I arrived at River, the group of Comizo, Higuain, Fabian Basualdo, Hector Henriquez, Sergio Batista, they treat me very well since the beginning, they took me with them….

Interviewer: That is very important Gabi….

Bati: that was a lot of luck, you know, eating with them, training with them…

Interviewer: Besides, they were like leaders, they handled everything…

Bati: Yeah, but besides that , they gave you advices, they who already had an established career, they had played the world cups, they tell you, you can do a lot of things, but if you do these ones, you can do a lot better than if you do the other ones…

Interviewer: You haven't forgetten that, Gabi?

Bati: No, I will never forget it.

Interviewer: Wait a second, we have questions from the audience, over here

Guest 1: Me Ale, I'm Jorge, before we talk about Boca...

Bati: No..! (laughs)

Guest 1: why was he called elephant foot?

Interviewer: "Pipa" Higuain, please come up to the stage, … (applause) just when you were saying that he gave you advices…look what life did, eh?., it's a big coincidence to talk about "Pipa Higuain", and the hand he gave you…Dear Pipa, come here…

Bati: Nah.. (laughs of joy)

Bati: [While hugging Higuain] ...Thank you… Thank you for coming

Pipa Higuain: [To interviewer] How are you? Is everything Ok?

Interviewer: Hello, dear Pipa…have a seat

Bati: Now I'm going to tell you….

Pipa Higuain: There are more surprises….

Interviwer: Yeah, in a while…

Bati: Now I'll tell you one [story] about him, I lived alone, I was less hungry than when I was in Newell's, but I lived alone, and sometimes he invited me for a barbecue, and I used to see his kids, they wanted to play soccer and I said, poor kids if they play like his dad (laughs), they are not going to achieve anything…I thought about it, but didn't tell him, you know…

Interviewer: You thought that while you were eating?

Bati: One of the kids said, I want to play as a forward but with his dad's foot, noooo.

Higuain: Do we let them in?

Bati: No, I'm scared of the defender.. (laughs)

Interviewer: Where are they Pipi?

Higuain: They're back there..

Interviewer: Come in , please..

[Hugs, laughs, whispering]

Interviewer: [Talking to the audience]..Sorry guys, this is how it is, it's almost like a friends meeting…

Interviewer: Kike, [the guest in white], In which of the teams you played he could have been number 3?

Bati: Any team

Interviewer: In Italy, for example…

Bati: You know, Gatusso plays in Milan (laughs)…really

Kike: Not smart, and not too tall…

Bati: No, really, he is a great player, but he kicks you all the time, he was a great player but he didn't let you play with all the tackles…Have you got any idea what is was like to play against them? Especially, against him [points at Higuain].

Interviewer: Why?

Bati: Because in River, the six months he was out we had to play against him in the training.

Interviewer: He didn't leave during training?

Bati: No, no. He and Basualdo would pick me up and sent me to the grandstand, each time and if I passed him.

Kike: After training, he was like dead.

Bati: They wanted to kill me..

Interviewer: what would you tell a poor kid who wanted to play like the number 9?

Kike: Pride, you know… we played for our pride

Pipa Higuain: Respect…for him to respect us…

Interviewer: This kid was suffering; his parents did all they could for him…

Kike: Now, players play for money, back then it was for pride.

Bati: Listen, when I score, I want to shout it out loud…In Newell's they didn't let me, one day Piojo (football player) yelled at him, he said stop kicking this poor kid, after that day I was inspired…

Bati: Sometimes when I took a corner kick I pass the ball between the other player's legs, and they almost killed me with all the kicks, between, Martino, Alfaro, Faco Teller

Pipa Higuain: They were not that aggressive…

Bati: Basualdo…they killed me, and when I arrived at River it was the same thing, it didn't happen at Boca because I was on the side of the ones that played all the time.

Interviewer: You are a guy from Santa Fe, you are a town guy, were you surprised by anything?

Bati: No, when I arrived everything was horrible, I asked myself; where have I arrived? Everything was old

Interviewer: In Florence?

Bati: Yeah, everything was old, now I appreciate it , but that happened 1 or 2 years later, when I arrived , everything was old, the walls were falling , what happened is that they keep everything you know, the history there is like 2000 years old. I had imagined something beautiful, new, something similar to Buenos Aires, more modern, it really wasn't what I expected and I didn't like that, but when you start to see everything, after you know what is behind that wall that is falling, it's really crazy.

Interviewer: When you arrived in Florence, Was it hard for you to fit in? the different lifestyles? You know, Italians, their clothing, their cars, and you who came from the humble San de Argentina.

Bati: (giggles) Yeah, There is a picture that I hope that you don't have it here, because every time I see it I feel so embarrassed, you know how things are here [Argentina], shorts, sandals, t-shirt, so I went there [Italy], to my first training dressed up like that, my hair was like this (he touches his shoulders). I was so embarrassed, and that's when they started calling me the "lion king" because of my hair like this, I arrived there and they were all dressed up, like I am right now (laughs).

Bati: The thing is, Fiorentina never won anything, and when I arrived there, I was a dreamer, I thought that I could make Fiorentina win or that with good players we could do something, fight against Juventus, Milan, an impossible thing to do, at that time I was convinced of that and obviously I transmitted that feeling to the supporters, despite knowing that every year Real Madrid wanted me, Manchester and all of those good teams were coming for me and I'd say "No, I'm staying here", and the people…

On the subtitled note, you can read: Gabriel Batistuta: Between 1991/2000 he played in Fiorentina where he scored 207 goals in 332 games.

Interviewer: They went crazy…

Bati: The people, they identified themselves with me, and that's how they treated me. It was uncomfortable, because everything I said was right, you know, anything I said and the supporters would say, 'well Bati said it', it takes you out of reality if you don't have your feet on the ground and it was very uncomfortable, and that was my relationship with Fiorentina, I meant a lot to them, I don't really know what to tell you…

Interviewer: You couldn't go out to the street then…

Bati: No, you know, in the 10 or 11 years I lived there I went to downtown during the day only 10 to 12 times. I lived on the hills, I moved house 3 times when I was there, always on the outside of town, and when I had to go to dinner, I called and let them know I was arriving and quickly get out of the car.

Interviewer: Now that you tell us this, it's understandable that you wanted to go far away, to Australia, to forget all this. 10 years and you went downtown just 3 times, living on the hill, of course it's an energy that you can't control… It drives you crazy…

Bati: Yeah, I don't know what it is, I don't deny that I love that people recognize me, not "recognize me" but, when they say "this is a good guy" or "thanks Bati, keep scoring goals", 10 goals or anything else but sometimes you know, you can't even go and have dinner with your wife, my older son is 16 years old and I never took him to a park, apart from the past couple of years we lived in Australia.

Interviewer: You never took your son to a park?

Bati: I never even took him to school, and that was something that I missed, and I think he missed it more than I did.

Interviewer: You never had the chance to take your son to school in Florence?

Bati: No, I never took him to school, I wanted to, and I think he, as a son wanted it too, besides everybody was talking…it wasn't very easy at all, I was always very quiet, I never really get what a soccer player could create in people, or how people could see you as an idol, just because you score a goal, I think that's something I never really understood. That they like you, that I'm a role model, I accept that, but when they say you are right when you say good morning when it is 8 o'clock at night …do you get what I'm saying? It's complicated; it takes you out of reality, which was one of the reasons why I left Firenze for Roma.

Interviewer: And how was it to leave Firenze?

Bati: That was another trauma, because I had everything there, It was like when I left Reconquista for Newell's, I had everything, you know, the maid that brought you donuts at midday, before going to practice. You know, on Easter Sunday, my house is like an Easter-egg business, they were like this [raises his hand], I could put my kids into the Easter egg, that big! [they were] 10, 20.. , we ended up giving them away, but it's a gesture from them [that counts], if the people could bring oranges, they would.

Interviewer: Apart from that, you had to hide from them, how do you leave the city?

Bati: They even brought oil, I opened the door of my house and I had oil outside, from anonymous person. Just like that…

Interviewer: So, your dinner was on your doorstep.

Bati: I spent 10 years in Firenze and I never bought anything.

Interviewer: Gabi, the national team, you have played in three world cups, do you remember the good things?, or do you remember everything?

Bati: I remember the good things.

Interviewer: So, what do you remember about the national team, if you had to bring something back?

On the subtitled note you can read: Gabriel Batistuta: Top scorer in the history of the [Argentinian] Squad.

Bati: If you ask me about the national
9 years ago.