Rome, Italy: Paolo Rossi, a hero of Italy’s 1982 World Cup, died at the age of 64, their family confirms this news.
Rossi became each house name after leading the Azzurri to victory at the tournament in Spain, completing as top scorer and being named best player.
On club level he first came to prominence as a prolific scorer for Vicenza, gaining a move to Juventus and next playing for AC Milan.
His had been a long illness as per the local media reports.
Rossi’s wife Federica Cappelletti posted a photo of them together on social media with the words “Per sempre” (“forever”), nut. She did not reveal the cause for his passing.
Rossi scored 20 goals during 48 appearances for the Italian national team, and more than 100 Serie A goals through spells with Vicenza, Perugia, Juventus, Milan and Verona.
“Sometimes there are just no words to show the pain we are all experiencing,” said a statement from Vicenza, who Rossi helped win improvement to Serie A in 1977.
Following his plays at the 1982 World Cup, he was awarded the Ballon d’Or which at the time was given to the European footballer of the year.
He retired from football in the late 1980s, after his retirement he started working as a pundit for Sky, Mediaset and Rai.
Rossi wrote his name into footballing folklore by his displays at the 1982 World Cup – although he almost missed the competition after being implicated in a match-fixing scandal.
Though Rossi maintained his innocence, he was forbidden from football for three years after being involved in taking part in the 1980 Totonero disgrace.
This suspension was decreased to two years on appeal, meaning he was ready to play at the World Cup in Spain.
Rossi later explained going on to win the tournament as a “personal redemption.”