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.