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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Joao Batista

Joao Batista Da Silva was born in Porto Alegre on March 8 1955.


Source Wikipedia

He began his career with Internacional Porto Alegre and stayed until 1981 winning three National championships and the Campeonato Gaucho four times. He was a very highly rated midfielder and played together with his Brazil teammate Paulo Roberto Falcao. In 1980 he won the Bola de Prata, an award given by the magazine Placar for the best players of the Brasileirao. In 1982, following disagreements with his club, he joined Internacional rivals Gremio and won another Bola de Prata. The year after he signed for Palmeiras.


In 1983 Lazio finally got back to Serie A after three years and hero Giorgio Chinaglia bought the club. After initially trying to get Junior, Long John decided on signing Batista.


That Lazio were not exactly the best team we’ve ever had, and Batista took some time to get used to European and Italian football. In his first year, the Biancocelesti struggled, changed manager half way through, from Giancarlo Morrone to Paolo Carosi, and avoided relegation with a draw in the last game. He played 33 games in Serie A and Coppa Italia with one goal against Sampdoria.


1984-85 was one of the worst seasons in Lazio history. Chinaglia decided to sack Carosi after just two games and called up Juan Carlos Lorenzo. Lorenzo was past his prime as far as managerial style was concerned and his third stint with Lazio was almost farcical. Daniele Filisetti was forced to lose 5 kilos in a week because Lorenzo wanted him to be the same weight as Trevor Francis who he had to mark in the next game. Filisetti fainted after the end of the first half. He was very superstitious to the point of insanity. He got the players to train by running after chickens. Once he told Bruno Giordano that when there was a free kick, he was supposed to go to the men in the wall and insult them. The plan was to get them agitated so that the wall would open and increase the chances of scoring. He also ordered Giordano to never shoot from outside the box again.


Lazio were relegated. Chinaglia got rid of Lorenzo too late and the duo Giancarlo Oddi-Roberto Lovati who substituted him could not do much. Batista appeared in 23 games during the season and scored a goal again against Sampdoria.


With the Biancoclesti in Serie B, Lazio sold Batista to Avellino but it did not go well and Joao appeared just 14 times in the League with one goal. But Avellino did win the 1986 Summer Tournament. It was a competition contested by the Serie A teams that had been eliminated from the Coppa Italia before the semi-finals. Avellino beat Bari in the final. Batista however did not play.


In 1987 he signed for Belenenses in Portugal but played very little. The next year he returned to Brazil and signed for Avai. He retired at the end of the season.


He had a good International career playing 38 times for Brazil. He played seven times in the World Cup of 1978 where Brazil came third and had an appearance in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. He came on in the second half of Brazil Argentina and was at the receiving end of a kick in the stomach from a very frustrated Diego Maradona.


Batista did not go into management but has since done punditry for the Brazilian TV channel RBS.


Joao Batista did not have a memorable stay with Lazio. He enjoyed the nightlife and the food, but his performances on the pitch were less lively. Lazio fans nevertheless remember him with a smile, there was so much hope when Chinaglia took over the club but it did not work out for him or Batista.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1983-84

30 (1)

25 (1)

5

1984-85

23 (1)

18 (1)

5

Total

53 (2)

43 (2)

10

Sources


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