Paolo Rossi, un ragazzo d’oro: FIFA Museum to host guest exhibition on the life and career of the Italian legend

A world champion who made Italy’s dreams come true: Paolo Rossi was the hero of Italy’s triumphant 1982 World Cup campaign, his exploits on the pitch securing his place among the game’s greats. His life and career will be celebrated at the FIFA Museum’s guest exhibition, Paolo Rossi: un ragazzo d’oro, in Zurich from 10 February to 26 March 2023.

It is fair to say that 1982 was Paolo Rossi’s year and that the 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain™ was his tournament. After drawing a blank in Italy’s opening-round fixtures, “Pablito”, as he was lovingly known, hit top form in the second group stage, and his haul of six goals ultimately fired the Azzurri to the title. His performances in Spain are part of World Cup folklore, and rightly so, as Rossi became the first player to win both the adidas Golden Shoe and adidas Golden Ball for top scorer and best player, respectively. To date, he is still the only world champion to have claimed this dual accolade.


Both trophies will be part of the guest exhibition that will be organised in cooperation with the Paolo Rossi Foundation. Marco Fazzone, Managing Director of the FIFA Museum, says: “It goes without saying that the 1982 World Cup was one of the highlights of Paolo Rossi’s career, and we are very proud that his Golden Ball and Golden Shoe will be among the historic objects on display in the exhibition. But for us, it was important that the exhibition did not simply focus on a short period of Rossi’s long career. We want to give our visitors insight into the life and career of Italy’s ‘Golden Boy’ (ragazzo d’oro) and also provide a platform for the memories of his family, friends and team-mates.”

The guest exhibition premiered at the Festival dello Sport in Trento, Italy, in October 2021, and the FIFA Museum will now host its international debut. The exhibition will be divided into various sections, ranging from Rossi’s first steps in football in his Tuscan hometown of Prato and his fledging career as a young professional at Juventus and Vicenza, to his greatest triumph – lifting the FIFA World Cup™ with Italy. Another section will take a look at his life after he hung up his boots for the final time. The memories of many of his former team-mates and other famous names from the world of football will also feature in the exhibition.

Paolo Rossi: un ragazzo d’oro
will open at the FIFA Museum on 10 February and will run until 26 March 2023. Entry to the guest exhibition will be free of charge.