Tuesday. 18.06.2024

Football legend Paolo Rossi, who led Italy to World Cup glory in 1982, has died aged 64, his wife said in the early hours of Thursday.

The 1982 Ballon d'Or winner died of an "incurable illness," daily sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

His wife, Federica Cappelletti, posted a picture of herself with the football great reading "forever" in the early hours of Thursday.

On Facebook she wrote: "There will never again be anyone like you, as unique, as special, after you it will be complete void." The message ended with a heart emoji.

The striker was part of the wonderteam that in 1982 defeated Zico's Brazil, a young Diego Maradona's Argentina and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's West Germany to lift the World Cup trophy in Spain.

Six goals in three matches

With his six goals in the last three matches at that World Cup, Rossi led Italy to their third world championship title, became the tournament's top scorer and rose to the status of a legend of Italian football.

The performance came just two months after the end of a two-year ban for a match-fixing scandal in Italy during the 1979-80 season.

Italy football legend and 1982 World Cup winner Paolo Rossi has died