THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Panini Espana 82

Rossi8220 June ~ Paolo Rossi is known for his decisive contribution to Italy winning the 1982 World Cup – he got a hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Brazil in a second round group game, and was the tournament's highest scorer with six goals. But Rossi also had one of the strangest careers of any major international player. He began with Juventus but didn't play in their first team and was farmed out to Vicenza with whom he was Serie B top scorer when they were promoted in 1976-77.

Rossi was then Serie A top scorer the next year as Vicenza finished second, and went on to play at that summer's World Cup. Vicenza's president bought out Juventus' half share in Rossi in order to keep him. But the expense involved led to the club selling several first-team players and they were relegated in 1978-79.

Rossi then moved on to Perugia in a complicated loan deal which stemmed from the Vicenza president not wanting to sell him to one of Italy's big three. While playing for Perugia Rossi was caught up in a match-fixing scandal during 1979-80 and was suspended for two years. He moved to Juventus when his ban was lifted, which happened just before the 1982 World Cup.

He had two good seasons there, which included reaching the 1983 European Cup final, but then his career nosedived. After three goals in 27 games in 1984-85, he moved to Milan where he only scored twice before a final season with Verona. Rossi retired at the age of 30 claiming to be "tired of football", although he has since worked as a TV pundit.

Related articles

Hope for 2018 ~ part two
Embed from Getty Images // No more gambling ads, reform in Spain and Italy, and England playing in the Football League – WSC contributors&...
The best and worst moments of 2017 ~ part two
Embed from Getty Images // From Lincoln’s triumphant season to Huddersfield’s heart-warming promotion, via Chelsea’s return to...
Italian football must do more than read Anne Frank to tackle fascism problem
Embed from Getty Images // The racism and anti-semitism highlighted by Lazio’s fans and owner runs deeper than one club in Italy and all...