Paolo Rossi: Italy’s 1982 World Cup winner dies aged 64

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Italian football legend, Paolo Rossi is dead. The 1982 FIFA World Cup winner was confirmed dead earlier today, Thursday, December 10, 2020, by Italian TV channel RAI Sport. Before the death of the 64-year-old football legend, he served as a pundit on RAI Sport.

His wife, Federica Cappelletti, also took to her Instagram account with 7,031 followers to share a picture showing herself posing next to Paolo Rossi. In the caption, she simply wrote: “Per sempre” which means “forever” with a love emoji.

Paolo Rossi is best remembered for his phenomenal performance in the 1982 FIFA World Cup where he scored an outstanding 6 goals to help Italy win the country’s third FIFA World Cup trophy.

At the beginning of the group stage at the tournament, the late striker struggled to find the back of the net. He completed the first group stage of the competition without scoring any goal.

After finding it difficult to find the back of the net in four matches in the group stage, Paolo Rossi found his scoring boot in the next round of the competition. He scored an overwhelming hat-trick against Brazil in the next round of the competition which was enough to send Italy to the semi-final stage of the competition.

At the semi-final stage of the competition, Paolo Rossi was available to help Italy scale through to the final of the competition by scoring two goals which were enough to sink Poland. At this point, Italy looked unstoppable due to the form of the late striker.

In the final of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, Paolo Rossi was on hand to give the world a fantastic world cup final. He scored the first goal of the match between Italy and West Germany which ended 3-1.

Paolo Rossi lifts the 1982 FIFA World Cup trophy.
Paolo Rossi lifts the 1982 FIFA World Cup trophy.

After helping Italy to win the World Cup, Rossi went on to be crowned the king of football by winning the 1982 Ballon d’Or.

He also gave a good account of himself at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina where he scored three goals to bring his total FIFA World Cup goals tally to nine which made him Italy’s joint-highest goalscorer at the World Cup with Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri.

“Such sad news: Paolo Rossi has left us,” RAI Sport presenter Enrico Varriale said.

“Unforgettable Pablito, who made all of us fall in love in that summer of 1982 and who was a precious and competent work colleague in RAI over recent years.”

Paolo Rossi enjoyed the best of club football while playing for Italian Serie A side Juventus between 1981 to 1985. While at the club, he won two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, and one European Cup.