Dec, 11th 2020 – Italy’s 1982 World Cup hero Paolo Rossi has died aged 64, his family says. Rossi became a household name after leading the Azzurri to victory at the tournament in Spain, finishing as top scorer and being named best player.
At club level he first came to prominence as a prolific scorer for Vicenza, earning a move to Juventus and later playing for AC Milan. His death was announced on Thursday, following what Italian media report had been a long illness.
He was in 2004 named by Brazilian Legend Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers.
He worked as a pundit for sky, Rai and Mediaset in the late 1980s after retiring from football.
Vicenza, who Rossi helped win promotion to Serie A in 1977 said in a statement, “Sometimes there are simply no words to express the pain we are all experiencing.”
According to Italian journalist Danielle Verri, the images of Rossi and his teammates becoming the world championns will forever be ingrained in the country’s culture.
Speaking to BBC World Service, Verri said, “We are all shocked here because Paulo Rossi is such an iconic figure for Italian football. He is part of Italian history that goes beyond football.”
He added, “For those who were lucky enough to see him play in the 1982 World Cup we cannot ever forget what he did. For those who were lucky enough to see him play in the 1982 World Cup we cannot ever forget what he did.”