Gabriel Omar Batistuta (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡaˈβɾjel oˈmar βatisˈtuta]; born 1 February 1969), nicknamed Batigol [batiˈɣol] as well as El Ángel Gabriel [el ˌaŋxel ɣaˈβɾjel] (Spanish for Angel Gabriel), is a retired Argentine professional footballer. After beginning his career in Argentina in 1988, where he won titles playing for Newell's Old Boys, River Plate, and subsequently Boca Juniors, the prolific striker played most of his club football with Fiorentina in Italy; he is the twelfth-highest scorer of all-time in the Italian Serie A, with 184 goals in 318 matches.
When his club Fiorentina was relegated to Serie B in 1993, Batistuta stayed with the club and helped it return to the top-flight league a year later. He became a popular sporting figure in Florence; the Fiorentina fans erected a life-size bronze statue of him in 1996, in recognition of his performances for the club. Despite winning the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana with the club in 1996, he never won the Italian league with Fiorentina, but when he moved to Roma in 2000, he finally won the Serie A title to crown his career in Italy. After an unsuccessful loan spell with Inter in 2003, he played his last two seasons in Qatar with Al-Arabi before he retired in 2005.
At international level, Batistuta was Argentina's all-time leading goalscorer with 54 goals in 77 official matches, a record he held until 21 June 2016, when he was surpassed by Lionel Messi in Argentina's 4–0 victory over the United States in the semi-finals of the Copa América Centenario. He participated in three World Cups, scoring 10 goals, making him Argentina's all-time top scorer in the competition, and the joint eighth-highest World Cup goalscorer of all time. Batistuta is the only player in football history to score two hat-tricks in different World Cups. With the Argentina national team he won two consecutive Copa América titles (1991 and 1993), the 1993 Artemio Franchi Trophy, and the 1992 FIFA Confederations Cup. Regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation, in 1999, Batistuta placed third in the FIFA World Player of the Year award, and in 2004 he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.Close