Gabriel Batistuta played football again after the ordeal that led him to have ankle surgery: a great goal and applause

Gabriel Omar Batistuta participated in a football match on Wednesday and surprised by scoring a great goal and receiving a standing ovation in Monza. After the ordeal he experienced with his physique and which led him to have surgery on his ankles, the former Argentine striker (the National Team’s second all-time top scorer with 56, behind Messi who has 86) enjoyed a very special meeting along with other legends of the sport like the Italian Francesco Totti and the Brazilian Dida.

Bati, who shone in Italy and left very good memories in Fiorentina (he scored 207 goals and was declared an illustrious citizen in Florence), Rome (he was crowned champion in Serie A) and Inter Milan (there he closed his 11 years in Calcio) , played at the U-Power Stadium in Monza, where the 31st edition of the Partita del Cuore was held and was attended by around 16,000 spectators. National singers and entertainment figures participated in the event, it was hosted by the popular Italian television presenter and actress Simona Ventura, and broadcast live on Rai 2.

“In Rome they treated me like a king. All the effort was worth it. An unforgettable experience. Two wonderful years. I left many friends there. I come back often”, expressed Batistuta when he was replaced. In dialogue with Rai, he acknowledged that the draw for the Qatar World Cup “was good” for Argentina and highlighted “the way” in which the team commanded by Lionel Messi arrives.

Regarding his physical problems, he said that he was able to overcome the injuries two years ago and that he can now “walk normally”. However, he acknowledged: “Today I made an effort to be able to play, I shouldn’t do this, but the spirit of the game is stronger and I couldn’t resist playing this match.”

Gabriel Batistuta was noted to be happy and enjoying what he loved most, playing ball. After a long and brilliant career plagued with success, Bati himself confessed some time ago the suffering he experienced due to problems with his ankles. In an interview granted Reconquista Hoy, in mid-2015, he gave more details about it.

“My legs hurt, but they are pains that I have left from my career and it has nothing to do with the seriousness of the things they say. I underwent treatment and began to improve, I am in that process, I even play soccer from time to time and I have fun, “said the man from the Santa Fe city of Reconquista. “If I were experiencing such a dramatic situation, I would not be in such a good mood, I would be down. It’s annoying to go out and deny this stupidity, ”he continued regarding the rumors about the request for the amputation of his legs.

The photo that Gabriel Batistuta uploaded to his social networks after the operation on his left ankle (@GBatistutaOK)

As if to further clarify the issue, Batistuta asserted that the inconveniences he suffers are in his ankles and not in his knees, as some voices said. “I did a 4-year treatment on my right leg and it stopped hurting, but you can’t do it on both. The issue is that I don’t have cartilage or anything in my ankles, so when I walk the bones rub against each other and that causes pain. In one leg I no longer have pain, but in the other it is quite annoying, ”he detailed.

In turn, the idol of Argentine soccer indicated: “I take medication very occasionally because I don’t want to recover from my ankle and get sick to my stomach.” And he revealed issues that could change his habits for years to come. “I am waiting for an ankle prosthesis, which has evolved a lot in recent times. But the doctor prefers to wait a little longer until he has conclusive numbers on the use of these prostheses.”

Two years later, Batistuta was able to complete the operation that, for him, will change his life forever. In a clinic in Switzerland, the former number 9 of the National Team was fitted with a prosthesis to replace his battered left ankle after 25 years of sports experience. After the surgical intervention was successfully completed, it was Bati himself who, through his social networks, left a hopeful message on the way to what will be his recovery.

This is the prosthesis that replaced Batistuta's left ankle (Facebook Gabriel Batistuta)
This is the prosthesis that replaced Batistuta’s left ankle (Facebook Gabriel Batistuta)

“First stage overcome, the prosthesis in the left ankle is already a reality, now we are going for recovery. Thank you for so much love and concern”, the former soccer player who emerged from the lower divisions of Newell’s wrote on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. In addition to the image of him in bed, he also uploaded a photo of the prosthesis that replaced his damaged ankle. The operation Gabriel Batistuta underwent was similar to the one Diego Armando Maradona underwent on one of his knees.

Before entering the operating room, Batistuta recounted the ailments he suffered after his retirement from professional football. “I hope I don’t have pain when I’m sitting and then I can walk, ski or play a little golf. It’s going to be the best, the intention is to get rid of the pain”, acknowledged the historic Argentine striker.

This is how Batistuta's ankle looked after the operation at a clinic in Switzerland (@GBatistutaOK)
This is how Batistuta’s ankle looked after the operation at a clinic in Switzerland (@GBatistutaOK)

Dressed in the Albiceleste shirt, Bati became champion of the Copa América on two occasions – he won the titles in Chile 1991 and Ecuador 1993 – and scored 56 goals in 78 games played with the Major, which kept him in the first place in the top scorers table until Lionel Messi overtook him.

After debuting in the Rosario team, Batistuta had a brief stint at River until he arrived at Boca. From Xeneize he traveled to Italian football and took his goals to Florence. After nine seasons at La Fiore, he moved to the capital: at Roma he was able to win the Scudetto and after two years he moved to Milan to play for Inter. He retired in 2005 at Al-Arabi, from Qatar.

“I quit football and from one day to the next I couldn’t walk anymore. Not after a month, after two days I couldn’t walk. I wet the bed, having the bathroom three meters away, because I didn’t want to get up, “he said in an interview with TyC Sports several years ago. After the operation that took place this Tuesday, Batistuta’s life changed forever.


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