Roberto Baggio is the type of player that evokes an outpouring of flair. He brought supreme style to an era of football where the game was royally turned on his head. With signature boots still looking strong, we sat down with the man as he donned a classic Diadora get up.

'Roberto Baggio', it's a name that is attached to the very greatest in the game. How does it feel to be you now when you look back and think of your career?

“I think it’s a bit melancholy because even though I had so much time in the game, time itself has flown by so quickly and things have passed so quickly that I wish I could have stopped at some point during my playing the career and taken more of it in. It would have been nice to have stopped the clocks. I was lucky to have such a great career.”

Talk to us about style and your look when you were a player. Did you have a routine that went into how you presented yourself on the pitch?

“Not really. I didn’t really do anything, I was always just very focused on the game we had that day. I would always try very hard to get my head in the zone. I would spend more time thinking about the game ahead of me and the players I would face.”

You showed a real character in the way you carried yourself and played with your heart on your sleeve. How would you describe the way being out on the pitch made you feel?

“It was something really wonderful and it is difficult to put into words but the idea of having these people around you who had made sacrifices to be able to buy tickets to come and watch us play - that made me feel like we had to do everything possible to entertain them and make them happen and that’s what I always looked to do out on the pitch.”

Naturally with Diadora being such a proud Italian brand, what was it like to play in their boots? Do you have a special attachment to them?

“I have always felt very close to Diadora. First of all because I come from the same area of Italy where they do. We were just a few miles apart so I always felt we came from the same values and that we expressed the same values on the pitch as well. The fact that we had this special relationship that lasted throughout most of my career is evident today. I still feel that link - it hasn’t gone away.”

What are the characteristics of a player who wears Diadora? Would you say they are confident and classy?

“Other people are probably better to judge than me but for me, simplicity is something that really defined the class of the brand throughout my career.”

It's a bit different in today's game but the charm of icons like you and didadora will never go. Do you think you played in one of the greatest eras of football ever?

“It’s difficult to say of course, that could be the case but it wasn’t exactly in either periods. Certainly today, it gets more and more difficult to play well and to entertain people but that’s also because results, for many reasons, go way beyond what happens on the pitch. The result is the thing that matters the most so spectacle and showmanship gets a little lost in today’s game perhaps.”

What do you think your greatest moment was out on the pitch while wearing Diadora was?

“Probably the World Cup in 1994 because I had recently won the Ballon d’Or and so there were huge expectations on him and his performance as well as the whole Italian team. Still at the end of the tournament, despite how it ended, we came out pretty well from that and we can be proud of our performance in that tournament.”

How does it feel having hung up your boots? Do you still get that fire and that urge to play like you did as a kid?

“Absolutely yes. [laughs] I would need to new knees though!”

Speaking to SoccerBible as Diadora launched the ‘Match Winner Italy’ at the Pro:Direct LDN19 store, you can pick up a pair here.

Photography by Elliott Wilcox for SoccerBible