Paolo Rossi, the hero of the ’82 World Cup in Spain, has left us. A terrible news, arrived in the middle of the night: football, Italy, the world mourn the great Pablito, who died at the age of 64, the victim of an incurable disease. Born in Prato on 23 September 1956, a career between Juventus, Vicenza, Como, Perugia, Milan, Verona, Rossi was the protagonist and the architect of that great ride that brought the Italian national team led by Enzo Bearzot to the Spanish triumph, giving to the country its third World Cup. Three goals against Brazil, in the unforgettable 3-2 at the Barcelona Stadium on 5 July 1982, then the double in the semifinal against Poland and finally the goal that opened the scoring in the 3-1 trimmed to West Germany in the final, under the cheering gaze of the then President of the Republic Sandro Pertini. He was the top scorer of the World Cup and in the same year he then won the Ballon d’Or.
Pablito, as mentioned, played with Como, Lanerossi Vicenza then in Perugia and with Juve from 1981 to 1985 before the last two seasons with the shirts of Milan and Verona. With the Bianconeri he won two Scudetti, one Coppa delle Coppe, a Uefa Super Cup and one Champions League. After his career as a footballer he has long been a sports commentator for Mediaset, Sky and Rai. He leaves his wife, Federica, and three children: Sofia Elena, Maria Vittoria and Alessandro.
“He loved Vicenza like few others. I remember you with a smile. Have a good trip Paolo”. This is the first thought of the mayor of Vicenza Francesco Rucco. For the national Pablito, so deeply attached to the city, the mayor proclaimed city mourning and flags at half mast. The mourning remains proclaimed until the day of the funeral, which was held today Saturday 12 December in the Cathedral of Vicenza.
Rossi died at the Santa Maria alle Scotte polyclinic in Siena, run by the university hospital. He was hospitalized after the worsening of the disease he had been diagnosed with last spring. In the summer, the former footballer had undergone surgery at the hospital of Santa Maria alla Gruccia in Montevarchi (Arezzo). According to reports, his health has suddenly deteriorated for several weeks.
The city of Vicenza and Italian sport are preparing to say goodbye to Paolo Rossi. Pablito, who died at the age of 64, was paid homage yesterday inside the Menti stadium, the funeral will be celebrated in the Cathedral today. The president of Coni, Malagò: “To dedicate the title of top scorer in the Italian Serie A championship to Paolo Rossi is a wonderful idea”.