Italy legend Paolo Rossi dies aged 64

The former Milan and Juventus striker, who starred as his country won the World Cup in 1982, has passed away following illness.

12:07pm on Thursday 10th December 2020
David Lynch

Italy legend Paolo Rossi has passed away at the age of 64, his family have confirmed.

Rossi represented Juventus and Milan among other clubs across a career that saw him win two Serie A titles and the 1985 European Cup.

However, he was best known for leading his country to World Cup glory in 1982.

Rossi top scored with six goals and was voted the tournament's best player as Italy clinched the crown in Spain.

Three of those strikes came as Brazil were beaten 3-2 in athrilling game that rounded off the second group stage and effectively served as the quarter-final.

He also netted twice in the semi-final win against Poland and once as West Germany were beaten 3-1 in the final.

The forward later described his involvement in that success as a "personal redemption", coming as it did after his involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

Rossi's was handed a two-year ban for his role in the 'Totonero' affair, which also saw Lazio and Milan relegated to Serie B.

He would have missed the World Cup had his initial punishment not been reduced from three years but, in the end, went on to come a national hero.

A heartfelt statement published on Juventus' official website on Thursday began: "What awful news to wake up to.

"Paolo Rossi – Pablito – has passed away. He was the hero of an unforgettable World Cup for all of Italy, but for us he was much, much more."

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