The Story of Paolo Rossi in World Cup 1982 Part 1

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 21 September 2022
The Story of Paolo Rossi in World Cup 1982 Part 1
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We will go back with our story to the 1982 World Cup that was held in Spain, in which the Italian national team was crowned thanks to its top scorer, Paolo Rossi.

But did you know that Paolo Rossi, who won the title of top scorer in the 1982 World Cup, and the award for best player in the tournament, was not destined to participate in the World Cup in the first place, but Italy coach Enzo Berzot decided at the decisive moment to bet on him in the attack of the Azzurri.

Paolo Rossi and his involvement in the “Toto Nero” case, and the truth about his imprisonment:

Paolo Rossi started his football career with Juventus at the age of fifteen, but he did not play with them until eight years after his first signing, due to undergoing three different knee surgeries in the first phase of his career.

So, Juventus thought of loaning him to the "Como" team, which was then competing in the Italian second division, and after only one year, he was in the squad of his new team, Vicenza, who qualified to play in the Italian Serie A.

With Vicenza, he scored 21 goals in his first season and in the following season he scored 24 goals and became the first player to score more than 20 goals in two consecutive seasons in the Italian League.

What made him the focus of the attention of the coach of the Italian national team, who decided to summon him to participate with the Azzurri in the 1978 World Cup, and it was a special experience at the time, as he managed to score 3 goals in the competition at the time.

But what happened two years after the 1978 World Cup, was a turning point in the career of Paolo Rossi, which kept the Italian striker away from football for two years, after severe penalties imposed on him by the Italian Federation!

In 1980, the name Paolo Rossi was linked to the match-fixing scandal in the Italian League in the first and second divisions, and this case was known in the media as “Toto Nero”, and several players from 12 clubs in the Italian League were also involved!

At that time, the Italian Football Association decided to impose a three-year ban on Paolo Rossi, during which the striker stays away from playing football completely, and after appealing the decision, the suspension period was reduced to only two years, to return in 1982 and lead Italy to achieve the World Cup.

But this story was somehow amplified by the Italian newspapers, after the dramatic scenario in which “Rossi” starred in the 1982 World Cup.

Where a “lie” was circulated saying that Paolo Rossi was released from prison to achieve the World Cup with Italy, which means that the Italian striker was imprisoned in Italy for the duration of his sentence, but this did not happen at all. Rather, the newspapers there exaggerated due to his exceptional return and brilliance in the World Cup.