Fiorentina legend Gabriel Batistuta has spoken of the physical pain he suffered after he quit the game in 2005, even admitting that he asked doctors to amputate his legs.
The former Argentinian international enjoyed a splendid career in the Serie A with Fiorentina and Roma most notably, and remains one of the best goalscorers the league has ever seen, but spoke of his tribulations after retiring from the game.
“After quitting football, within a short time I found myself almost unable to walk,” admitted Batistuta to TyC Sports.
“I urinated in the bed even though the bathroom was only a few meters away.
“It was 4am and I knew if I stood my ankle would kill me, the pain was unbearable.
“So I went to see doctor Avanzi and I asked him to amputate my legs. I had seen [Oscar] Pistorius and told myself that that was the answer to my problems.
“The doctor did not want to, he told me I was crazy, he operated on the right ankle but the situation did not improve.
“We fixed the ankles with screws through surgery. My issue was that I did not have any cartilage and tendons, my weight of 86kgs was on bone and I was dying from the pain.
“Then slowly the situation has improved. The recovery has been difficult, long and tiring, but I am fine now.
“I play golf, even a few football matches but if I do not get the ball to the feet, I do not move much. And I always choose mates to play with, strictly over 50!.”