Rome (AP) – With a moving memorial service, Italian football said goodbye to former world champion Paolo Rossi on Saturday. The striker, who beat his team in Germany’s final at the 1982 World Cup, died this week at the age of 64.
Footballers, friends and family gathered on Saturday at the cathedral in Vicenza, northern Italy. There was applause, tears and loving speeches with the words “Ciao Paolo” as parting.
Football Association (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina put a blue national team jersey with the number 20 on the chest near the altar, Ansa news agency reported. Many former teammates such as Daniele Massaro, Franco Baresi and Giuseppe Bergomi were among the mourners. At the celebration, 1982 World Cup players including Marco Tardelli, Antonio Cabrini, Gianpiero Marini and Alessandro Altobelli carried the box on their shoulders. The cremation is scheduled for Sunday in Perugia, Umbria, he said.
Former world champion Rossi died in a hospital in Siena on Thursday evening, a hospital spokeswoman had confirmed. After the death, the CEO of FC Bayern, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, among others, responded with concern.
Rossi scored 1-0 against Germany in the World Cup victory. The striker has scored a total of six goals in the last three matches of the tournament in Spain, making him a football legend in his home country.