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hi...here is some info on Fiorentina Legend....

Giancarlo Antognoni
If Gabriel Batistuta had never existed, then Giancarlo Antognoni would have remained alone as the favourite of the Viola fans. As it is, he is still arguably the greatest player ever to pull on the purple shirt, and certainly the greatest playmaker.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there wasn't a midfielder in Italy to touch him, and Fiorentina built their team around his great vision and sublime passing ability. The man from Marsciano was Fiorentina's totem, and he was the club's only real contribution to the Italy of the Enzo Bearzot era.

Nicknamed il bel Antonio (the beautiful Anthony) by the fans, he was signed by the Viola from provincial side Astimacobi in 1972. He made his debut in the October of that year, in a 2-1 victory at Verona, and his last outing for his beloved Fiorentina came in 1987, at the age of 33, in a 1-0 victory over Atalanta.

He was an integral part of Italy's 1982 World Cup-winning side but missed the final against West Germany after sustaining an injury against Poland in the semi-finals. He played 73 times for Italy between 1975 and 1983 - more than any other Fiorentina player.

Antognoni also holds the club record for most Serie A appearances with 341; he apparently never left Fiorentina because he loved the city of Florence so much.

Considering his long and distinguished service, though, his trophy cabinet is sparse. The only honour he won at club level was the Coppa Italia in 1975, although he came agonisingly close to inspiring the Viola to a Scudetto triumph in 1981, Fiorentina losing the title by one point to Juventus.


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Roberto Baggio
Roberto Baggio was the most talented footballer of his generation, a genius blessed with remarkable vision, a delightful shimmy and a right foot to die for. But, as with so many the gods have favoured, his career became an endless struggle with the furies – and, for a time, Arrigo Sacchi.

Baggio, in a sense, is the embodiment of Italian football. Wonderfully gifted, he found himself hamstrung by negativity and the culture of the fear to lose, and was undone, in the most painful of circumstances, by the penalty shoot-out.

In Pasadena in 1994, after a dire World Cup final had finished goalless, Baggio blazed his penalty high over the bar, and Brazil were world champions. Baggio, and Sacchi, were never the same again.

Sacchi had been repeatedly criticised in that tournament by the Italian press for his defensiveness, which had included removing Baggio to substitute on Luca Marchegiani after Gianluca Pagliuca had been sent off against Norway. Tactically, the decision had some kind of logic; emotionally, it was madness.

Baggio was the star of Italian football, the man they turned to in a crisis, the man who had delivered time and again in Italy's hours of need – he had, even in that tournament, almost single-handedly beaten both Nigeria and Spain. Even in a nation that had been immersed in the paranoia of catenaccio, to remove him seemed an affront to the gods, something for which Sacchi paid in the final.

Baggio made his debut for Vicenza when he was 15 and moved to Fiorentina in 1985, where he suffered a terrible knee injury which jeopardised his career. He persevered, came back and three years later was hailed as the finest player in Italy.

The mental toughness and hard work he showed in returning were remarkable, yet somehow, Baggio developed a reputation for mental fragility.

Baggio became the darling of Florence and led Italy to the World Cup semi-finals in 1990, alerting the world to his talent with a quite brilliant goal against Czechoslovakia. Having picked the ball up on half-way, he drifted through a phalanx of defenders with all the inexorable ease of a raindrop down a window before tucking the ball in the corner.

Italy did not concede a goal in their first five games in the tournament, and, with Baggio providing the creative spark, won every game, yet, bafflingly, he was left out by coach Azeglio Vicini for the semi-final. Gianluca Vialli was preferred as Salvatore Schillaci's partner up front, Italy lost their shape, and Argentina, having cancelled out the Sicilian's early strike with a 67th minute Claudio Caniggia header, won on penalties.

Baggio retained his popularity, and that summer, when he was sold to Juventus, fans rioted in the streets of Florence for three days. The next season, during a Fiorentina-Juventus game, he refused to take a penalty against his old club.

Baggio settled in well at Juventus but, while he excelled individually, the club failed to break Milan's stranglehold on the title in the early 1990s. Around this time, he converted from Catholicism to Buddhism, a decision he says helped him through some difficult times - and there were plenty of those.

As Baggio's problems with his coach blighted the USA World Cup, so poor relations with a different coach were to ruin the following season. Marcello Lippi took charge in the summer of 1994, and it soon became clear that he preferred Alessandro del Piero to Baggio, whose problems with injuries continued to mount. Juve won the title, but Turin, manifestly, wasn't big enough for the both of them, and Baggio moved on to AC Milan the following season.

Coach Fabio Capello led the club to the Scudetto in Baggio's first season, but then he moved on to Real Madrid to be replaced by Oscar Washington Tabarez, whose dismal reign lasted less than a season before he was replaced by Baggio's nemesis, Sacchi.

Baggio, repeatedly left on the bench, cut a forlorn and frustrated figure and opted to move on to Bologna. Again there were rumblings of internal dispute, but Baggio, forming a lethal partnership with Sweden international Kennet Andersson, plundered a personal best 22 goals that season, and was called back to the Italy squad for the 1998 World Cup.

But there, Baggio found Del Piero standing in his way once more. Cesare Maldini clearly preferred the Juve forward, and, although Baggio had performed well in the group stages, left him out once Del Piero had recovered. Internazionale, nevertheless, were impressed enough by the 30-something's form to sign him.

Two largely unhappy years followed. Baggio and Ronaldo never really gelled; injuries continued to mount, and then Lippi was appointed as coach.

His relationship with Lippi, which had never been great, became increasingly strained towards the end of his spell at Inter and his final contribution for the club was to mastermind victory over Parma in a post-season play-off in 2000 that ensured a place in the Champions' League qualifying phase.

Baggio's move to unfashionable Brescia in September 2000 was a surprise. He plumped for the northern Italian club largely because of its proximity to his home town. But the guarantee of first-team football in Serie A, a good relationship with former Bologna coach Carlo Mazzone and determination to win his place back in the national team for one final World Cup also played their part.

And Baggio enjoyed a dream start to the 2001-02 season, hitting seven goals in seven games, only for a knee injury to force him to take a two-month lay-off.




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Gabriel Batistuta
Fiorentina fans have a habit of taking players to their hearts, and Fiorentina is a club capable of inspiring incredible loyalty, but the love affair between Gabriel Batistuta and the Viola faithful nevertheless stands out as something unique.

So popular was he, that the fans commissioned a bronze statue of the forward that still stands at the Artemio Franchi, despite his departure for Roma in 2000. Batigol, as he was known, had joined the club nine years earlier from Boca Juniors.

That summer he had hit six goals for Argentina as they had stormed to the Copa America in Chile. The story has it that Fiorentina's then vice-president Vittorio Cecchi Gori, the son of club owner Mario Cecchi Gori, watched the tournament on television, and was impressed enough to buy Batistuta, although he was still initially seen as the company for another Boca player, Diego Latorre.

Fiorentina expected great things from the schemer, and Batistuta was primarily there to help him to settle to life in Italy. It soon became apparent, though, that it was Batistuta who was the great talent. Admittedly not so technically adept as many Argentinian strikers, he nevertheless combined pace with power, a fine right-foot shot, a wicked free-kick, and the ability to bury half-chances just when it mattered most.

In his first season he scored 13 goals in 27 league games, but what really secured the hearts of the fans was his decision to stay with the Viola after their relegation to Serie B in 1994.

His 16 goals brought the Florentines straight back into Serie A and he was top scorer in Serie A in 1995 with 26 goals - the first Fiorentina forward to win the Capocannoniere award since the Brazilian Orlando 30 years earlier.

He broke the 20-goal barrier in both the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. Indeed, he would have topped the chart in 1999 but was ruled out for two months with a knee injury enabling Udinese's Marcio Amoroso to overtake him.

And the goals continued after he moved to Roma. Batistuta hit 20 in 28 games in his first season there, as Roma wrapped up their first title for 18 years.


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Giuseppe Chiappella
Giuseppe Chiappela was the most influential player in Fiorentina's brilliant Scudetto-winning team of 1955-56. As a midfielder Chiappella had few equals.

Born in Milan, he was signed from Tuscan rivals Pisa in 1949 and he remained in Florence until 1960, amassing 329 appearances, placing him in the all-time Fiorentina standings behind Giancarlo Antognoni.

He controlled the middle of the park in his number four shirt and the tifosi still recall his surging runs deep into the opposition's half. He played 17 times for his country, between 1953 and 1957.

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Giancarlo De Sisti
Giancarlo de Sisti was the lynchpin of Fiorentina's second and, to this day, last Scudetto triumph in 1969. A midfielder who combined work-rate with genuine skill, he was the team's captain and driving force.

Known as 'Picchio' ('I hit you') because of his tenacity, De Sisti was signed from Roma in 1965 and proved to be one of the club's shrewdest signings in the post-war era. Known for his excellent positional sense, De Sisti's greatest attribute was his ability to break up opposition moves and immediately initiate a counter-attack.

He was a key figure in Ferruccio Valcareggi's Italy side of the late 1960s, winning a European Championship medal in 1968 as Italy beat Yugoslavia in the final in Rome. De Sisti also starred in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico as Italy cast off their defensive shackles and progressed to the final, only to meet a Pele-inspired Brazil in their pomp. In total, he made 29 appearances for the Azzurri.

De Sisti returned to Roma in 1974 where he ended his playing career. After retiring, though, he returned to Fiorentina as coach and led them to a runners-up spot in 1982, their best league position for 13 years.


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Kurt Hamrin
Kurt Hamrin ranks alongside Stanley Matthews and Garrincha as one of the greatest right-wingers the game has ever seen, matching wonderful skill with an eye for goal and an opportunism that has rarely been matched in Swedish football.

He first caught the eye at AIK, where his 54 goals in 62 matches won him a move to Juventus. Hamrin, though, struggled to adapt to life in Italy, and his first season was a huge disappointment, as he scored just eight goals as Juve finished a disastrous ninth.

That sparked a major clear out, and Hamrin was off-loaded to Padova. There, in the lively university town. Hamrin rediscovered his form, and Juve must have been desperately regretting their decision to let him go as he banged in 20 goals in 30 games in the 1957-58 campaign.

Fiorentina swooped for the Swede just before the 1958 World Cup, in which he was a significant factor in Sweden's progression to the final.

In the quarter-final against Russia, Hamrin embarked on a second-half one-man mission, bamboozling the opposition defence with feints and tricks.

He had almost scored twice when, after his own run and cross, the ball bobbled loose and he made sure for Sweden's opening goal. He then popped up on the left to cross for Agne Simonsson to score two minutes from time.

In the semi-final against Germany, Hamrin turned the game on its head after a tight first-half. Having tormented his marker Erich Juskowiak for most of the match, Hamrin fouled the German defender, whose patience finally snapped as he kicked out in frustration.

Hamrin collapsed in agony and Juskowiak was sent off for his troubles, allowing Hamrin, and Sweden, to take control. With nine minutes remaining Hamrin's shot was blocked, allowing Gunnar Gren to score before a moment of impudent skill by Hamrin made the game safe.

Collecting the ball midway inside Germany's half, he began to walk the ball nonchalantly towards the touchline, before springing into life, dancing past three players and slotting the ball home.

"It was though Hamrin had launched a personal blitzkrieg," said one journalist at the time.

But it was in Florence that Hamrin found his true home. In nine seasons with the club, he netted a record 151 times, and, with his habit of darting in off the wing, earned the nickname l'uccelletto - the Little Bird.

He also holds the Fiorentina record for scoring the most goals in one game - five in the 7-1 demolition of Atalanta in the 1963-43 season. With Fiorentina Hamrin won the Coppa Italia in 1960, and the Cup-Winners' Cup the following year, but his most successful spell in terms of trophies came after his move to AC Milan in 1967.

The Scudetto arrived in his first season with the club, and, the following year Hamrin achieved the crowning glory of his career as he helped Milan to the European Cup at the age of 34.
 

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How low the mighty have fallen!

Thanks for reminding us what a great team the Viola once was!

Can you quote us a source for this information?
 

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I think its only fair to include rui costa among the best to have worn the viola colours. he is an elegant player with vision and accuracy that few in the modern game possess. his biggest strength comes from his loyalty to those around him and those whom rely on him.

salute to a living legend - rui costa
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i am sorry....i got the info from one.football.com after intensive research about fiorentina legend....well.....u r rite sebastien......Rui Costa is one of the legend also....but can really find his history info.....of course.....i watch him and the other legend play(batigol)others i dun get much chance to even peep on them.......once if they update our legend....i will post at here..k
 

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great post, i initially became a fiorentina fan because of my argentinian friends parent who i watched the 94 world cup with...after living all to briefly in florence my love for the club, was cemented...learning the history of the great players like batigol is great...this list is really about the great players who loved florence
 
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