Barely two weeks has gone by since the sudden death of Maradona when another football legend has passed away.
Italy’s World Cup winner a hero in 1982
Italy’s World Cup hero of 1982 Paolo Rossi has died at the age of 64. Rossi became a legend in Italian football after leading his side to victory in Spain. He dominated the tournament by not only being top scorer in the finals but was also named best player.
Rossi made only 48 appearances for the Italian national side, but still managed to score 20 goals. Following his magnificent contribution to the Italians success in 1982 he was awarded the Ballon d’or.
Prolific club career for Rossi
At club level he came to everybody’s attention when playing for Vicenza where he made 94 appearances with 60 goals. His prolific spell at Vicenza meant that eventually one of the big Serie A clubs would come in for his services.
In 1981 it was Juventus who came calling and signed Rossi from Vicenza where he made 83 appearances in four seasons.
Rossi had a single season with Milan and finished his career at Hellas Verona. Finishing up in fourth place in Serie A with unknown Verona was a fitting way to end his career.
After hanging up his boots
In August 1990 he was named vice-president of Lega Pro Prima Divisione club A.S Pescina Valle del Giovenco. After hanging up his boots Rossi worked as a pundit for Sky, Media Set Premium and Rai Sport.
Despite a glittering football career, Rossi will also be remembered for a bad discretion he made back in season 1979-80. Rossi was playing for Perugia where he was involved in the infamous 1980 betting scandal. This was known in Italy as Totonero. As a result of this scandal, he was banned initially for three years, which was eventually reduced to two years.
Missed out on the 1980 Euros
As a result of this he missed out on the 1980 European Championships held in his native Italy.
Rossi is widely regarded as one of the greatest Italian forwards of all time. However, the likeable Italian will forever be remembered for that 1982 World Cup.
Although he started off the tournament with a lot of criticism in front of him, he came alive in the second group stage. Facing Brazil, Italy and Rossi were under pressure to deliver, but thanks to Rossi they did.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man
Rossi scored a hat-trick as Italy won 3-2 to reach the semi-finals, then bagged a brace against Poland to reach the final.
Facing West Germany in the final it was Rossi who opened the scoring as Italy beat the Germans 3-1 to lift the trophy for a third time.
Anybody who was fortunate to see him play in that 1982 World Cup were honoured. Spain 82 will always be remembered for one man’s performance Paolo Rossi. Gone, but never forgotten.