Paolo Rossi: 1982 World Cup hero Italy dies of 'incurable disease' at age 64

Rossi became a household name after scoring six goals in the 1982 World Cup and leading Azzurri to third place.

Italian footballer Paolo Rossi has died at the age of 64, his family said.

Rossi became a household name after scoring six goals at the 1982 World Cup in Spain – leading the Azzurri to third place.

He is the top scorer of the tournament and also won the award for best player.

Rossi helped Italy win 3-1 in the 1982 World Cup final Pic: Tony Duffy/ALLSPORT
Image:Rossi helped Italy win 3-1 in the 1982 World Cup final Pic: Tony Duffy/ALLSPORT

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At club level, Rossi played for Vicenza, making his move to Juventus and then AC Milan.

Rossi’s death was announced Thursday morning by Italian TV channel RAI Sport, where Rossi works as an expert.

One of his friends present, Enrico Varriale, tweeted that his death was “terrible sad news”.

He added: “The unforgettable Pablito, which made us all fall in love in the summer of 1982 and which has been a valuable and competent colleague at RAI over the past few years.”

Italian media cited “incurable disease” as the cause of his death.

The attacker’s departure comes shortly after the death of Argentine icon Diego Maradona – who died of a heart attack in Buenos Aires last month.

Wife Federica Cappelletti posted a picture with Rossi on Instagram, captioned 'Forever' in Italian Pic: Instagram
Image:Widow Federica Cappelletti posted a picture with Rossi on Instagram, captioned ‘Forever’ in Italian. Pic: Instagram

Rossi’s widow, Federica Cappelletti, posted a photo with her husband on Instagram, with the words “per semper” – “forever”.

He later wrote on Facebook that “There will never be anyone like you, unique, special …”.

Cappelletti did not reveal the cause of her husband’s death.

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