Veteran striker Roberto Baggio was the focus of attention during Italy’s 1-1 friendly draw by Spain last night.
Called up for the first time in five years as a gesture of goodwill by coach Giovanni Trapattoni, Baggio showed that even at 37 he remains equipped to play at the highest level.
Baggio was given a standing ovation when he was substituted four minutes from the end.
“The match tonight is the fondest memory of my career,” he said.
“The highlights for a professional are goals and victories, but nothing was quite this emotional, the way the people showed their affection for me today.
“The applause, the wonderful messages and the love of the public are something that will stay with me forever.”
“I didn’t think I was going to play for as long as 86 minutes. The coach obviously wanted to give me as long as possible to try and score, but unfortunately the goal never came.”