Paolo Rossi, who fired Italy to victory in the 1982 World Cup after almost missing the tournament through a match-fixing scandal, has died aged 64, prompting an outpouring of grief and tributes.
Rossi’s wife Federica Cappelletti announced the death in an Instagram post featuring a photo of the couple, accompanied by the comment “Forever,” followed by a heart.
“There will never be anyone like you, unique, special, after you the absolute nothing…,” she added on Facebook. The cause of Rossi’s death was not revealed but Italian media reported he had been suffering from “an incurable disease”.
Tributes flooded in for ‘Pablito’, who was banned for three years for his part in the betting scandal but returned to win the World Cup in Spain and the Ballon d’Or the same year.
Rossi scored 20 goals in 48 appearances for Italy, and more than 100 Serie A goals with Italian clubs including Juventus, Milan, and Verona. In the 1982 World Cup, he was the top scorer with six goals.