74th Minute, Paulo Rossi, Italy v Brazil, World Cup
Two years before the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Italian football was hit by a major match fixing scandal, which involved some Italian national team players, one of them was named Paulo Rossi. Rossi received an intial three-year ban which would have seen him miss the World Cup but he had it reduced to two years on appeal and made the squad for the World Cup. Gli Azzurri got off to an extremely slow start, failing to win their first three matches of the World Cup and sneaking through in second place ahead of Cameroon courtesy of scoring one more goal.
Brazil, as we saw yesterday in World Cup 90 Minutes, produced two wonderful goals through Socrates and Eder to beat the USSR after falling behind. In their next game they fell behind again and this time their comeback was even more emphatic with them finally running out 4-1 winners against Scotland. They finished off by beating New Zealand 4-0. They were pitted against arch-rivals Argentina in addition to Italy in the next group stage. They saw off the World Champions comfortably, scoring more fantastic goals in the process and they became everybody’s favourite to win the World Cup.
The Italians had just got going in this World Cup as they saw off Argentina in an ill-tempered match with goals from Marco Tardelli and Antonio Cabrini. Their next match against favourites Brazil was one of the greatest in World Cup history. Paulo Rossi put the Italians ahead twice but the Brazilians levelled twice. The game followed a pattern of Brazilian attack against Italian defence but the naivety of the Brazilian’s attacking game plan would be punished.
With the game heading to extra-time, Rossi completes his hattrick by turning home a wayward shot and this time Brazil have no reply…
What Happened Next?
Italy followed up their dramatic win against Brazil with Rossi scoring twice in the semi-finals against Poland enabling them to reach the final against West Germany. In the final they produced another fine display to win the World Cup for the third time. Brazil’s defeat saw the end of the traditionally Brazil attacking style of play.
Paulo Rossi won the Golden Boot at the 1982 World Cup as well as the European Footballer of the Year award.