Paulo Rossi, Italy’s goal – scoring hero from the successful 1982 World Cup campaign, has died at the age of 64.
His death comes with the soccer world in mourning for Argentine icon Diego Maradona, who passed away late last month.
Rossi Pandit, the Italian TV channel RAI Sport, said on Thursday that “Pablito” had died of an “incurable disease”.
“Such terribly sad news: Paulo Rossi left us,” tweeted RAI Sport presenter Enrico Varriel.
“Unforgettable Pablito, who made us all fall in love in the summer of 1982 and has been a valuable and effective work colleague at RAI in recent years.”
Rosie’s wife Federica Capelletti posted a photo of herself and her husband Instagram “Per semper” – along with the words “forever”.
Rossi won two Serie A titles, a European Cup and a Coppa Italia, but fondly remembers the six goals he scored in the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
His selection on the team was initially criticized by pundits who wrote that he was out of shape, but when he hit one of the World Cup’s greatest hat-tricks against Brazil they were left to eat their words.
In the second group stage, they had a place in the semis against Poland, where Italy won 3-2 in that classic encounter, where Rosie made a difference again.
He slammed the pole with a 2-0 lead that knocked out his team in the World Cup decider against West Germany.
Rosie scored Italy’s first score in a 3-1 victory, giving them a third World Cup title and their first since 1938.
He won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s best player, top scorer and Golden Ball, and this campaign is considered one of the best individual World Cup appearances of all time.
In a tribute to the world of soccer, former German World Cup winner Jగrgen Klinsmann tweeted: “Dear Pablito, we will always remember you!”