Paolo Rossi, Italy’s 1982 World Cup hero, dies at 64


ROME (AP) — Paolo Rossi, who led Italy to the 1982 World Cup title and later labored as a soccer commentator in his house nation, has died after a protracted sickness. He was 64.

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Rossi’s spouse, Federica Cappelletti, stated Thursday he died in her arms. She stated Rossi died in his sleep on the hospital after she promised him she would care for his or her kids and assuring him that he “had already completed a lot.”

“He didn’t need to go, however I hugged him exhausting and I advised him, ‘Paolo, now go. Sufficient, you’ve suffered sufficient. Now depart this physique,’” she stated. “After which he went to sleep.”

Cappelletti spoke to reporters outdoors the La Scotta hospital in Siena, the place Rossi had been handled over the previous yr and the place members of the family gathered Thursday. State-run RAI tv, the place Rossi labored as a sportscaster, stated he had been recognized with an incurable sickness.

Cappelletti had introduced the dying on Instagram, posting an image of the couple with the caption “Per sempre,” Italian for “Without end.”

In a Fb publish, Cappelletti added: “There’ll by no means be one other one such as you, distinctive, particular, after you there may be absolute nothingness.”

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Paolo Rossi had a exceptional profession comeback, main Italy to the World Cup title after coming back from a suspension following a betting scandal in 1980.

He scored six objectives on the event in Spain, together with a hat trick in a 3-2 win over Brazil and the opening objective in a 3-1 win over West Germany within the last. He was additionally voted FIFA participant of the yr in 1982.

The Italian soccer federation stated it could fly flags at half-staff in an indication of mourning.

“We’ve misplaced a good friend and an icon of our soccer,” federation president Gabriele Gravina stated. “He took a complete nation by the hand, which rejoiced within the streets, for him and with him. He’s completely linked to the Azzurri and has impressed generations of forwards along with his model.”

Italian president Sergio Mattarella additionally provided his condolences for Rossi’s “untimely” passing.

“Remembering his courtesy and his humanity, I categorical condolences and closeness to his household,” the Italian head of state stated in an announcement.

Former teammate Stefano Collovati advised RAI Radio 1 that he acquired the information from the telephone chat utilized by the 1982 staff members, lots of whom expressed devastation at Rossi’s passing.

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“I heard 5 minutes in the past. I’m so sorry. It was out of the blue,” former teammate Dino Zoff advised the ANSA information company. “It had been some time that we hadn’t spoken, he had stated one thing however we didn’t suppose it was so critical.”

Paolo Rossi gained two Serie A titles and a European Cup whereas taking part in for Juventus. He additionally performed for AC Milan earlier than shifting into sportscasting at Italy’s high networks.

RAI sports activities presenter Enrico Varriale, who labored with Rossi, posted on Twitter concerning the star ahead’s dying.

“Very unhappy information: Paolo Rossi left us,” Varriale wrote. “Unforgettable Pablito, who made us all fall in love in that summer time of ’82 and who has been a valuable and competent workmate at RAI lately. RIP expensive Paolo.”

In an announcement, Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino stated the Italian league was in mourning.

“Paolo Rossi made us really feel proud to be Italian,” Dal Pino stated, “he was the hero of all of us.”

Cappelletti stated a memorial service was deliberate for Vincenza and that Rossi’s stays can be cremated, a choice she took in settlement with their kids.

“I need to have him close to me ceaselessly,” she stated.

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