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Batistuta snubbed Real Madrid & Man Utd because he would have been 'bored scoring 200 goals'

15:53 GMT 26/02/2019
Gabriel Batistuta Fiorentina
The iconic Argentine striker attracted interest from the world's top clubs throughout his distinguished career but always wanted to challenge himself

Gabriel Batistuta has admitted to having snubbed Manchester United and Real Madrid during his iconic career as he would have got “bored scoring more than 200 goals”.

The legendary Argentine was one of the finest frontmen of his or any other generation.

A heady mix of power and panache, the South American was one of the most fearsome finishers in world football.

When at the very top of his game, he could have had the pick of any club across the globe.

He was, however, to spend nine years with Fiorentina before winding down his time in Italy with Roma and Inter.

Serie A title success was savoured while in the capital, but that trophy was secured without linking up with a member of the established elite.

That was not Batistuta’s way, with the opportunity to join serial winners passed up on several occasions.

He told the America Business Forum: "I never enjoyed being the star-man because as soon as you become the focal point of the team, you assume an extra burden of responsibility.

"I received many offers namely from Real Madrid, Manchester United and Milan, but I preferred the tranquillity of playing for Fiorentina.

"If I had gone to Madrid, I would have scored more than 200 goals, but I knew I would have got bored.

"The same thing would have happened to me at Milan.

"Although I have never won a major trophy, I consider myself a winner because I helped Fiorentina to compete with the big boys."

Batistuta did win the Coppa Italia with La Viola in 1996 and tasted two Copa America triumphs with his country.

His time in Florence saw him register 207 goals in just 333 appearances, but only once did he finish as the top marksman in Serie A.

He headed to Roma in 2000 and netted 33 times in 83 outings for them, with the Italian top-flight title claimed in his debut campaign.

Batistuta, who also found the target 54 times while earning 77 caps for Argentina, retired in 2005 with a place among the all-time greats safely secured.