Former Argentina and Fiorentina legend Gabriel Batistuta has revealed in an interview in his homeland that after several injuries forced him to hang up his boots he was left in so much pain that he wanted his legs amputated.
Batistuta is rightly viewed as one of the best strikers of his generation, scoring 275 goals in a 495 game club career in Argentina and Italy, before a final year in Qatar where he scored 25 goals in 21 games. He was also prolific for his country, scoring 56 goals in 78 games for La Abliceleste.
But after retiring in 2005 at Qatari club Al Arabi, the hitman, famous for his 'El Pistolero' celebration, was in so much pain in his ankle, that he wanted to have his legs removed by a orthopaedic doctor.
Batistuta told TyCSports.com: 'I left football and overnight I couldn’t walk.
"It was 4am and I knew if I stood my ankle would kill me. I wet the bed even though the bathroom was only three metres away.
"I couldn’t bear it any longer. I can’t put in to words just how bad the pain was. I looked at Oscar Pistorius and said, "that’s my solution".
"I went to see an Orthopaedics specialist, Doctor Avanzi, and told him to cut off my legs. He looked at me and told me I was crazy."
Despite his desperate wishes to have his legs removed, several specialists agreed that the best course of action was to have screws fitted in his ankle to prevent his ankle bones colliding with each other, and now the 45-year-old is in no more pain in his foot.
The man dubbed Batigol for his frightening predatory instinct in the penalty area can how hopefully enjoy retirement with some semblance of comfort, unlike the defences he terrorised during nearly two decades at the very highest level.