Italian football legend Paolo Rossi has died, his family announced earlier today.
Paolo Rossi, the man who scored six goals at the 1982 World Cup as he guided Italy to glory, has died at the age of 64.
Rossi’s wife Federica Cappelletti posted a picture of them together on social media with the words “Per sempre”, meaning “forever”.
Rossi made 48 caps for Italy, scoring 20 goals in the process. He also has more than 100 Serie A goals and played with a number of Italian clubs including Juventus and AC Milan.
During 1982 he won the World Cup Golden Boot as well as the Ballon D’Or that same year. He won a European Cup and two Serie A titles with Juventus.
The Italian football federation (FIGC) said flags would fly at half-mast at its headquarters in Rome and its technical centre in Florence.
FIGC president Gabriele Gravina released a statement.
“Pablito’s passing away is another moment of deep pain, a wound to the heart of all fans that is difficult to heal.
“We’ve lost a friend and an icon of Italian football. In spurring the national team on to success in 1982, he had Italians celebrating in squares across the country, both for him and with him.
“He indelibly tied his name to the Azzurri and, through his style of play, inspired numerous strikers of future generations.”
How terribly sad. A wonderful striker and a lovely man. Scored a World Cup hattrick in one of the greatest games of all time against Brazil. A true finisher’s life has finished way too soon. #RIPPaoloRossi https://t.co/Jyww3OgiEy
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 10, 2020
Football world reacts
The footballing world has been giving their reaction to the news with Gary Lineker taking to Twitter to offer his tribute.
“How terribly sad. A wonderful striker and a lovely man. Scored a World Cup hattrick in one of the greatest games of all time against Brazil. A true finisher’s life has finished way too soon. #RIPPaoloRossi.“
Ian Wright took to Instagram to pay his tribute, “My goal scoring hero ❤️ RIP Paolo Rossi 🇮🇹🙏🏾.”
While Jurgen Klinsmann shared his condolences on Twitter saying “Dear Pablito, we always remember you!”
Caro Pablito, ti ricordiamo per sempre!https://t.co/0TDTgF18SS
— J_Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) December 10, 2020
The news come just two weeks after the death of another footballing great Diego Maradona, who won the 1986 World Cup.