• Italian Paolo Rossi has died
  • He marked the history of the World Cup
  • The football world salutes his memory

Just over two weeks after Diego Maradona passed away, another FIFA World Cup star passed away with the death of Paolo Rossi at the age of 64. Four years before Maradona, the Italian striker had also carried his team in his march towards the coronation of Spain 1982 in a radically different style, less flamboyant than the Argentinian but with a sensational flair and sense of goal.

His six goals, all recorded in the knockout stage, have made him a national hero and a global icon remembered by the football world. FIFA.com has compiled some of the reactions and tributes paid to “Pablito”.

Youth idol

With Spain 1982, football entered a new era on television. Rossi’s exploits have cracked the screen and marked and inspired a whole generation of future professional footballers, in Italy and elsewhere.

“When I was a child and I played football in the streets, Paolo Rossi represented Italy as Pelé and Maradona represented Brazil and Argentina. A football icon is disappearing, but above all a true gentleman. My condolences to his family and friends. Thank you for everything you have done for this game that we love so much “, said Clarence Seedorf, legend of AC Milan on Instagram.

“For those like me who wanted to become a center-forward, you were an inspiration. You were my childhood idol. Hi Paolo, you will always stay in our hearts,” wrote Filippo Inzaghi, another Milanese legend.

(Rest in peace, great Pablito. You were our hero)

(I grew up watching you when I was in Senegal. I’ll never forget your 82 World Cup. Rest in peace, legend)

(“Rest in peace champion and national hero. We will never forget you”)

Rossi’s exploits also inspired those who were too young to see him in action. “I was born on July 5, 1982, but since that day I have heard about you from my father”, confides Alberto Gilardino, 2006 world champion with the National. “The older I got, the more he told me and showed me pictures. I think I was born under your star, I believe in fate.”

“Relations with him were wonderful”

His former teammates and those who have simply crossed his path describe a simple, affable and smiling man. “We have always had a very good relationship with Paolo”, confides Dino Zoff to the Sports Gazette. “Relations with him were wonderful, he was very kind”, continues the legendary Italian goalkeeper, world champion 1982.

“Goodbye Pablito you made us so happy. It was an honor for me to meet you and to be contaminated by your smile”, emphasizes Demetrio Albertini, former Italian midfielder.

“Michel Hidalgo, Robert Herbin, Maradona, now Paolo Rossi, that’s enough, 2020, it’s good … Paolo was a great player, a great scorer, everyone remembers his 1982 World Cup. We played three seasons together at Juventus, from 1982 to 1985, and we won everything. In 1982, he had just been the hero of the World Cup, but he had perspective on it all, he was not playing it ” , for his part declared Michel platini, former Rossi teammate at the Juve (The team)

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