Gabriel Batistuta switches to polo

March 4th, 2009 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, March 4 (DPA) Retired Argentina football striker Gabrial Batistuta has now switched sports and made his formal debut as a polo player alongside his friend and compatriot Adolfo Cambiaso.
In a game that was played Monday in Canuelas, some 50 kilometres southwest of Buenos Aires, Batistuta - the most prolific striker in the history of the Argentine national team - scored two goals on horseback, although he missed several others.

“I was disastrous. The important thing is I’m learning and I have fun, but you cannot change character and I want to do things well even if I am not a professional,” he said, in comments published in the Argentine daily Clarin Tuesday.

“It’s very difficult, but I hope to improve little by little,” Batistuta told Argentine television. “I’m a bit annoyed because I played badly, but I will keep trying.”

From the stands, Argentine tennis player David Nalbandian was watching.

Batistuta keeps out of football and is devoted to his farming business. In recent years, he has discovered a passion for golf and polo in his native Santa Fe province in Argentina.

This experience, along with his friendship with Cambiaso - regarded as the best polo player in the world - allowed Batistuta to play the tournament.

The retired striker has his own polo horses and his own team, La Gloria. The team wears a purple shirt with a coat of arms like Fiorentina’s, a tribute to the club where the Argentine made a name for himself in the Italian Serie A.

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