Emotional reminiscences and tears followed the death of football legend Paolo Rossi, who led Italy to World Cup glory in 1982.
His wife, Federica Cappelletti, announced his passing at 64 in the early hours of Thursday, posting on Facebook a picture of herself with the football great reading “forever.”
“There will never again be anyone like you, as unique, as special, after you it will be complete void,” she said in a message ending with a heart emoji.
Daily sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the 1982 Ballon d’Or winner he died of an “incurable illness.”
“I admit it, I am crying,” his former Juventus team-mate and current head of the Polish football federation Zbigniew Boniek was quoted as saying. “With you I not only won, I also lived.”
The striker was part of the team that in 1982 defeated Zico’s Brazil, a young Diego Maradona’s Argentina and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s Germany to lift the World Cup trophy in Spain.
“Paolo was my friend and an amazing goalscorer,” said Bayern Munich chairman Rummenigge, who played for Inter Milan. “We have often played against each other in Serie A.
“But without question the most important duel between us was the World Cup final in Madrid in 1982. He won 3-1 with Italy and also scored a goal.”
Italian football fans have been mourning the death in Argentina on November 25 of Maradona, who with Napoli and crossed paths with Rossi in three in Serie A seasons.
With his six goals in the last three matches at that World Cup, Rossi led Italy to their third world championship title, became the tournament’s top scorer and rose to the status of a legend of Italian football.
The striker recalled his hat-trick in the 3-2 defeat of Brazil in his 2002 autobiography “Ho fatto piangere il Brasile,” (I made Brazil cry).
The performance came just two months after the end of a two-year ban for a match-fixing scandal that involved numerous Italian teams during the 1979-80 season.
Rossi always denied his involvement in the plot, as accusations in case hinged on a 2-2 draw between his Perugia and Avellino, during which he scored a brace.
In 1981 Rossi moved to Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles and one Champions Cup, the trophy then renamed Champions League.
After four years in Turin, he played two more seasons, at AC Milan and Verona, to retire in 1987. (dpa/NAN)
– Dec. 10, 2020 @ 14:30 GMT |