Italy’s 1982 World Cup star Paolo Rossi has died at the age of 644.
On Thursday morning, the Italian TV channel announced his death RII SportWhere Rossi was working as a scholar.
“Such tragic news: Paolo Rossi has left us,” RII Sport Presenter Enrico Varialle Tweeted.
“Unforgettable Pablito, who all of us fell in love with in the summer of 1982, and in recent years has been a valuable and deserving work colleague at RAI.”
Rossi’s wife, Federica Capeliti, posted a picture of herself and her husband on Instagram with the words “per semper” – “forever”.
During his playing career, Rossi won two Serie A titles, a European Cup and the Coppa Italia, but he will be remembered for his six goals in the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
After failing to score in the first four games of the tournament, Rossi scored a hat-trick against Brazil in the second group stage to send Italy to the semifinals, where they won 2-0 against Poland.
The former Juventus and AC Milan striker opened the scoring in the final as Italy beat West Germany 3-1 to win their third World Cup – the first since 1938.
He received the Ballon d’Or in 1982, becoming the third Italian to do so.
Born in the proto-town of Tuscany, Rossi played his entire club career in Italy. He was banned for three years in 1980 as part of the “Totonero” match-fixing scandal but always denied any wrongdoing.
The ban was later reduced to two years, allowing him to return to Italy before winning the 1982 World Cup.
He also scored three goals at the 19 Argentina World Cup in Argentina and is Italy’s joint-highest scorer at the World Cup with Roberto Baggio and Cristiano Vieira.