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football mourns Legendary Italian striker and 1982 World Cup-hero Paolo Rossi passes away aged 64

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The late Paolo Rossi of Italy shields the ball from Junior of Brazil during the 1982 World Cup. Photo: Getty Images

The late Paolo Rossi of Italy shields the ball from Junior of Brazil during the 1982 World Cup. Photo: Getty Images

Getty Images

The late Paolo Rossi of Italy shields the ball from Junior of Brazil during the 1982 World Cup. Photo: Getty Images

Former Italy World Cup-winner Paolo Rossi has died aged 64, Italian TV channel RAI Sport said.

Enrico Varriale, a presenter at the station where Rossi had been working as a pundit, shared the news on Twitter early on Thursday morning.

He said: “Paolo Rossi left us. Unforgettable Pablito, who made us all fall in love in that summer of ’82 and who has been a precious and competent workmate at RAI in recent years. Rip dear Paolo.”

The former Juventus and AC Milan forward was instrumental in Italy’s 1982 World Cup victory, scoring the opening goal of the 3-1 final victory over West Germany and going on to win the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer.

He also won two Serie A titles and helped Juventus claim the 1984 European Cup.

Tributes were led by his wife, Federica Cappelletti, who shared a photo of the pair on Instagram with the caption “Per sempre” (“forever”).

Former Germany and Bayern Munich manager Jurgen Klinsmann also paid his respects on Twitter, writing: “Dear Pablito, we always remember you!”

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