The world of football for the third time in the past two weeks. The star of the 1982 World Cup and the Ballon D’Or that same year, Paolo Rossi passed away on Wednesday. The first notice of this story came from his wife Federica Cappeletti when posted a picture of the two and she just wrote “forever”.
The news of his passing was later confirmed by Enrico Varriale, subdirector of Rai Sport, and then it was also published by the largest sports daily in that country, Gazzetta Dello Sport. All of this broke late Wednesday evening into Thursday morning in Italy.
The cause of death was not confirmed by Rossi’s wife or the reports that confirmed his passing.
The Highs And Lows Of His Career
Rossi had a career filled with brilliant highs and challenging lows.
Rossi played for Vicenza, Perugia and Juventus. It was this last club where he would have his greatest success. He would end up winning two league titles, a Cup Winners Cup, a European Super Cup and a European Cup. He would end his carrera with AC Milan and then with Hellas Verona. During the last years of his life, Rossi worked as an analyst for Italian television. During his career, Rossi played in 340 matches and scored 134 goals.He spent nine years with the Italian national team, during that time he played in 48 matches and scored 20 goals. Six of those would come in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, where he ended up helping his side win the championship for the first time since 1938.
— Laura Conte (@LazioLaura) December 10, 2020
He was suspended back in 1980 after he was declared guilty of match-fixing. He was eventually able to get called up by then-Italian national team manager Enzo Bearzot to be part of the Azzurri in the 1982 World Cup after that original sentence was cut short.
Many teams and even the Italian FA have not posted regarding his passing due to the time in which it occurred, but it is expected that there will be tributes rolling in from all over the peninsula to give tribute to a player that enamored the people of that country.
Back in 2019, Rossi traveled to Brazil to do an interview with a podcast where he was interviewed by none other than Zico and the Brazilian legend’s son. There they talked about that fateful game in 1982 and the pleasure he had, “not just to beat Brazil” but to “beat that Brazil”. For many, that 1982 Brazilian side was one of the greatest teams to never have one a World Cup.