Paolo Rossi, the star of Italy‘s successful 1982 World Cup campaign, has tragically passed away at the age of 64.
The death of the former Juventus and AC Milan striker, who won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in 1982 and made 48 caps for his country, was announced in the early hours on Thursday by Italian TV channel RAI Sport for whom Rossi had been working for as a pundit recently.
Rossi won two Serie A titles, one European Cup and one Coppa Italia during four years at Juve but it is his time for the national team which is most fondly remembered, as his six goals led Italy to victory in Spain 38 years ago.
Rossi’s goals saw Italy to victory in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. He is pictured here celebrating scoring the first of his side’s goals in their 3-1 final win over West Germany, having bagged both in a 2-0 semi-final win over Poland
Rossi was the goalscoring star of Italy’s successful 1982 World Cup campaign in Spain (above)
‘Such terribly sad news: Paolo Rossi has left us,’ said RAI Sport presenter Enrico Varriale.
‘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.
‘RIP dear Paolo.’
Rossi scored a total of 20 goals for the Italian national team from 1977-1986, with his performances in the latter stages of the ’82 World Cup placing him into Italian folklore.
Italian football legend Paolo Rossi (centre) has tragically passed away at the age of 64
The striker spent four years at Juventus and also spent time at AC Milan and Hellas Verona
He scored a hat-trick in a famous 3-2 win against Brazil, scored both goals in the 2-0 semi-final victory against Poland and scored the opening goal in the 3-1 final triumph against West Germany in Madrid.
At club level, as well as Juve and Milan, Rossi played for Como, Vicenza, Perugia, Milan and Hellas Verona until his retirement in 1987.
Having scored 134 goals in 338 club matches, he is widely considered as one of the best forwards of his time.