Paolo Rossi of Perugia Calcio as seen by Paola Sacchi
Paolo Rossi, “Pablito”, is dead. The 1982 world champion. Of which, in addition to the final against Germany, the memory of Italy-Brazil remains indelible. The match that preceded the grand finale of “Azzurri, today or never”. The Mundial match in Spain, which, with his “schicchera” of goals, washed away the shame of the terrible defeat of the 4-1 final Brazil-Italy miraculously drawn by Roberto Boninsegna “Bonimba” at “Mexico” 70 in the first half before it was the defeat of the exhausted “heroes” of Azteca, “El partido del siglo”, Italy-Germany 4 to 3. But Rossi was not only the world champion. He becomes a champion of the Italian province, from Lanerossi Vicenza, still a kid, to Perugia football. I met “Pablito” as a journalist, very young too, of an important TV in Umbria. Rossi, hired, with a brilliant move, by the then president of the club Franco D’Attoma, in the team of Ilario Castagner, already vice-champion of Italy, already with a record in being undefeated, he gave further luster and glory to a provincial city, for as the regional capital. Those were the years in which Perugia Calcio was still in shock due to the disappearance of the little-great Renato Curi, who died in his twenties, one Sunday of mud and rain in Pian di Massiano, when he fell to the ground, in the middle of the field, hit by a heart attack. of his “crazy heart”. This has been called the “Curi” stadium for many years now. But perhaps, who knows, ideally he could also be called “Curi – Rossi” who came to Perugia, even in that case, as if by a strange destiny for him, to remedy an ugly twist of fate. “Pablito”, vice-champion of Italy, was a little boy, agile and slippery, that you often found it on Umbria TV. We journalists were all in one room, including Radio Perugia1.
He came there and patiently waited for his turn for the interviews, but above all he was curious about our work in other sectors such as the meetings of the Regional Council or the Perugina disputes. One day, I remember, I was particularly in a hurry and, then in times when people still smoked everywhere, I asked recklessly, point-blank, to a little boy, seen from behind, with a modest air, mistaken for a delivery boy or assistant. an operator, with a cigarette ready in hand: “Oh, what are you making me light up
!”. The boy, dressed casually, with shades of beige, immediately held out his hand with a lit match. Then matches were still used. A colleague approaches me: “You’re crazy
Look who is Rossi “. “Pablito” smiled nicely. You contribute to making the Umbrian capital live a dream that never repeats itself.
Unfortunately, there was the story of the “Calcioscommesse”, from which he always declares himself a stranger. And that too should really be told all, because, although I followed the case only by reflex, he, as much more experienced colleagues than me claimed and as yesterday was remembered on Twitter, was only touched upon and brought up because he did not say he had received proposals which, however, I reject. He was disqualified but I return Mundial. And the image of the little boy who went by degrees remains intact, first making the province dream and then the whole of Italy. Perhaps this is the best football, the one I start by first turning on the stadium lights in the small and many bell towers, of which the peninsula is carpeted, as did Gigi Riva with the little Cagliari who became champion of Italy, to make the country dream. entire. Small stories,

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