One of the best Italian defenders of all time, Fulvio Collovati, recently paid a tribute to his fellow World Cup-winning teammate, Paolo Rossi, right after his untimely death. The duo helped the Italian national team to win the World Cup in 1982. Rossi died this Thursday at the early age of just 64. And, the whole football world mourns for the tragic loss of the Italian football legend.
The former AC Milan and Juventus star not only just helped the Italian side to achieve the 1982 victory but also won both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball on that edition. Collovati, on the other hand, played with the striker, although he played against him in Serie A. However, he now recalled his friend and his characteristic off the pitch while stating that he was way more than a friend to him.
Fulvio Collovati paid tribute to the 1980 FIFA World Cup winning Italian star Paolo Rossi
A true Azzurri hero has left us. Ciao Pablito, and thank you for everything 💙 pic.twitter.com/CyaNayTHml
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@azzurri) December 10, 2020
While talking about Paolo Rossi, Fulvio Collovati said, “Paolo was a friend more than a footballer.” He added, “We shared almost 15 years as teammates with the Azzurri, from the youth teams to the two World Cups. Then he was also a fair opponent.” The Italian defender then added,
“On the pitch, he was a center-forward who I, playing the defender, marked.”
Collovati talked about his football prowess and said, “He annoyed me many times with his speed and acceleration.” He then further added, “Life has given him so much, a Golden Ball and a World Cup, but at the same time has also taken a lot from him. He stopped playing at the age of 31 and had injuries. Despite this, he was always smiling and therefore loved by the public.”
Paolo Rossi | The Unmatched Skills
The former Italian defender said, “He never made a point of being a World Champion and a Ballon d’Or winner.” He said, “As a teammate he was always smiling. He was forced to a long period of inactivity for football betting, but he came to the World Cup with a smile and we slowly helped him recover.” He further added, “It was the winning move because then it was Rossi who made us win the World Cup.”
Fulvio Collovati said, “It was hard for him, clearly he came from two years of inactivity if you think that today they cry if they have 15 days without playing. He hadn’t played for two years.” He then added, “Bearzot trusted him and took him. He trained hard, underwent massages and physiotherapy, but always with a smile. We waited for him and then, in the end, Bearzot was right.”