FIFA World Cup: Rossi's 1982 retribution for Italy

FIFA World Cup: Rossi's 1982 retribution for Italy

To many the best team, Brazil, didn’t win the 1982 World Cup but a team that picked up the pieces, Italy, triumphed, restoring their fans faith in them. Italian football was rocked by a match-fixing scandal in 1980 which included their striker Paolo Rossi. The 1982 World Cup offered them a chance at redemption.

They outgunned defending champions Argentina, favourites Brazil and two-time champions West Germany en route to their World Cup triumph. And the man who did the star-turn for Italy was Rossi, who had his ban cut from three to two just nine weeks before the World Cup.

Italy’s campaign didn’t begin well as they had three draws in the first round with Rossi failing to find goals. In the second round, the Italians were clubbed with Argentina and Brazil. Italy prevailed 2-1 over Argentina and against Brazil, Rossi scored a hat-trick in a memorable 3-1 win.

There was no stopping Rossi as he scored a brace in Italy’s 2-0 win over Poland in the semifinal. Rossi secured Italy’s lead and the Golden Shoe by scoring the opener against West Germany in the final. Marco Tardelli then chose to have his moment in the World Cup by scoring Italy’s second and then breaking into a wild emotional celebration in what is the most iconic image of the tournament in Spain. Substitute Alessandro Alatobelli added one more for Italy as they won the final 3-1.