FIFA's World Player of the Year for 1993 is Roberto Baggio. The schemer in the Italian national team was awarded 152 points by national coaches from all around the world.
He is the third player after Lothar Matthaus (Germany) and Marco Van Basten (The Netherlands) to be given this distinction from the Association of European Sports Magazines (ESM), adidas, Energizer and FIFA. Following closely behind Baggio were the Brazilian, Romario, with 84 points and the Dutchman, Dennis Bergkamp, with 58 points.
Representatives from 71 associations took part in the vote. Baggio, who was awarded the honours at the FIFA World Cup™ draw in Las Vegas via satellite from Rome in front of millions of viewers, made a name for himself with his achievements for Italy and with his club, Juventus.
The fact that Bagglo won is also a sign that national coaches these days favour the all-round player. Experts claim that, since the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the 26-year-old has mellowed into the role of the mature leader on the pitch. 1993 has certainly been a year to remember for this exceptionally talented footballer, who was also recently voted European Footballer of the Year.
Following on Baggio's heels are forwards who caught the national coaches' eyes with their winning goals in the FIFA World Cup preliminaries. Romario, Bergkamp, Stoichkov and Asprilla were largely responsible for their national teams' berths at USA '94. Only Denmark's goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, managed to break into the phalanx of forwards again, frequently stealing the limelight with his constantly high standards ever since the 1992 European Championship in Sweden.