They Called Me Rossi

They Called Me Rossi

They Called Me Rossi

If you score three goals against Brazil, then you are the king. Such a king was the Italian Paolo Rossi in the 1982 FIFA World Cup, fondly remembered for the quality of the football on show, a view borne out by the 84% passing accuracy registered in Spain, the highest in any Finals tournament between '1966 and '2006 according to the Castrol Index. 

Moreover, if thanks to your goals, the national team becomes the World Cup winner after 44 years, if you are one of the three top scorers of the national team with 9 goals in the World Cup, and after you, the national team cannot beat Brazil, and then you are great. 

They Called Me Rossi

If you were part of the All-Star teams of two World Cup (1978 and 1982), your fame cannot be accidental. Although then you sit on the bench for the entire tournament (1986 FIFA World Cup, like Carlo Ancelotti, Marco Tardelli), this does not decrease your merits. 

In an online poll, conducted by UEFA for its Golden Jubilee in 2004, which honored best European footballers from the fifty previous years, Rossi was ranked 12th among 250 players and it shows the fans' love for him. 

Paolo Rossi

Although already in 2020, he does not make the list of candidates for the Dream Team "France Football".

...When Rossi won the Ballon d'Or in 1982, he got 115 points out of 130 possible (88.46%) for the Award. Only two out of 26 voters did not write his name in their best players list. When I flipped through France Football Magazine from December 28, 1982, from my collection, which contains the results of that election, I saw how the Scottish journalist Alex Gordon justified his not choosing Rossi: "I know Paolo Rossi is considered a great man because he has scored six goals in the World Cup. However succeeding in just three matches in one year, even if it was the year of the World Cup, does not seem to me to deserve a Ballon d'Or, nor even a top five citation." 

What to do, everyone has their own truth. 

But Rossi laid the foundation for his greatness back in the late 70s, and this was reflected in his results in the fight for the European Footballer of the Year - 5th place in 1978 and 6th place in 1979. 

Then he, along with Michel Platini, Zbigniew Boniek and other stars, was a member of Juventus of the first half of the 1980s, which is considered one of the best teams in the history of football. And he was the top scorer of the European Cup in 1982/83... 

 "I didn't start out wanting to be a defender. Who would want to be in the back-line after having watched striker Paolo Rossi scores six goals in the 1982 World Cup?" 
This quote from the 2006 World Cup and Ballon d'Or winner Italian Fabio Cannavaro for The Players' Tribune demonstrates Rossi's power as a forward. 

"A goal, when it comes, is like manna from heaven for a striker. It gives you a whole new lease of life." So said Rossi himself. 

And I have my own little story related to Rossi. When I played football as a child, because of the slight resemblance to my name, my teammates called me Rossi. But did I watch World Cup matches in 1982? I don't even remember, then I was very small. 

Now the world of football is saying goodbye to Paolo Rossi. Those who have not seen him play live will remember him with his charming smile from photos and videos.

By Rasim Movsumzadeh

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