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World Cup-winning Italy great Paolo Rossi dies aged 64

The former Juventus, Milan and Italy forward remains his country's joint-top scorer at World Cups and led the Azzurri to victory in 1982.

World Cup-winning Italy great Paolo Rossi dies aged 64
Getty Images

Former Italy World Cup-winning forward Paolo Rossi has died aged 64. Rossi's death, reportedly following a battle with illness, was confirmed by his wife, Federica Cappelletti, and Rai Sport, where he worked.

"Forever," Cappelletti wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of the pair together.

Rossi scored 20 goals in 48 appearances for Italy, including winning the Golden Boot as the nation won the 1982 World Cup.

Then playing for Juventus at club level, Rossi was also named the Ballon d'Or winner in that year.

Rossi started his professional career at Juve before spells at Como, Vicenza and Perugia prior to his return to Turin in 1981.

With Vicenza, he was Serie A's top goalscorer in 1977-78, when he netted 24 times.

He won two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia and a European Cup among numerous other trophies during four seasons with Juve.

Rossi was the leading goalscorer during the 1982-83 European Cup, in which Juve fell to Hamburg in the final, before helping them beat Liverpool in the 1985 decider.

He had spells at Milan and Hellas Verona to finish his club career.

Rossi starred during the 1982 World Cup, scoring a hat-trick against Brazil to send Italy into a semi-final, in which he netted a brace against Poland.

He also opened the scoring in the final against West Germany as Italy ran out 3-1 winners.

Rossi, Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri have scored the most goals for Italy at World Cups with nine.


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