Random Ex-Footballer of the Week: Dino Baggio

Each week we'll look back at a relatively obscure player and this time it's the other Baggio

Dino Baggio, Italy, Denis Irwin, Ireland

Dino Baggio of Italy and Denis Irwin of the Republic of Ireland ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Across the world in any given period, there are thousands upon thousands of footballers plying their trades.

Only a select few achieve global cultural significance while many who briefly made an impact, are not heard about very often.

Each week, I'll be looking at a player that briefly made an impact but who remains forgotten about for the most part. You can throw suggestions in this direction on Twitter by tweeting @newstalksport or @raftastico.

This week, it's former Italy international midfielder Dino Baggio.

Claim to Fame

For a player who was a fully fledged international (a winner of 60 Italy caps in all), one of the biggest bits of trivia about Mr Dino Baggio is the fact that he shared a surname with his far more illustrious contemporary Roberto Baggio.

Baggio is not a hugely common name in Italy, with around 1,500 Baggio families in the country according to some statistics, with the majority coming from the Veneto province where both Roberto and Dino were born. However, the two are not related and coincidentally emerged at the same time to become team-mates.

Dino was five years younger and his first World Cup would not come until 1994 where his biggest claim to fame comes on field.

While Roberto Baggio shone up to the point at which he skied his penalty in the World Cup shootout against Brazil, Dino also had a memorable tournament from midfield.

He started Italy's 1994 opener against Ireland as the Azzurri lost 1-0 at Giants Stadium but would then score the all important winner against Norway as the man with the No 13 shirt powered in a header from a well delivered free kick with 21 minutes to go.

It wasn't the only goal for the less famous of the Baggios. Indeed Italy had both Baggios to thank for their passage to the semi finals as the duo scored one each against Spain in a quarter final match marred by an elbow on now departing Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.

Dino scored the opening goal of the match on 25 minutes with a superb long range strike across the keeper and into the net, before Roberto scored the second half winner.

Dino Baggio, Blackburn Rovers. Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport

Dino would feature for 95 minutes in the World Cup final before being withdrawn, thus not having the opportunity to take a penalty in the shootout defeat.

Dino Baggio would also play for Italy in a disappointing Euro 96 for the country before being picked again for the 1998 World Cup as an established starter. 

Italy would exit that tournament at the quarter final stage to France after a penalty shootout but yet again Dino was substituted well in advance of that possibility, although Roberto would exorcise some demons from 1994 by scoring four years later - ultimately in vain.

While he famously featured for Torino, Juventus, Lazio and Parma during his club career, Dino Baggio did briefly taste Premier League action with Blackburn Rovers in 2003. 

Recent Status

Baggio hasn't been involved directly involved with football for the last five years, having retired back in 2009. 

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