Italian legend Roberto Baggio wins World Peace Award | inside World Soccer

Italian soccer legend and former FIFA World Player of the Year, Roberto Baggio, has won this year's World Peace Award, an annual award bestowed by Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

A former idol known as Il Divin Codino, Baggio is one of many footballers who use his publicity to help launch campaigns and generate money to put to good cause.

The ex-Juventus and Italy hero has helped fund money for hospitals, earthquake victims and curing world diseases.

He involved himself in the fight against bird flu. He joined the pro-democracy movement for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar.

Reacting to the news of the award, Baggio claimed he was happier with this latest distinction than any of the accords he won for the achievements on the football field.

The 43-year-old told Italian news agency ANSA: "This is better than the Ballon d'Or.

"Compared with this, other personal and professional achievements pale into insignificance."

Baggio, a convert to Buddhism, will receive the Peace Summit Award in the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Friday.

In 2009, Scottish singer Annie Lennox was awarded for her efforts to fight against AIDS in South Africa. U2 singer Bono won the award in 2008 for campaigning against poverty and debt in Africa.


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