A year after his death, it was December 9, 2020, Paolo Rossi’s memories remain, the affection of those who loved him and a kindness sown everywhere, because exactly this, the good disposition towards others, was his most precious quality. Paolo Rossi was transversal, loved and recognized above all as the “national Pablito”, because the blue shirt with which he entered the legend was.
Mainly his wife keeps his memory alive, Federica Cappelletti, who takes care of Paolo’s two daughters, Maria Vittoria and Sofia Elena, “our brave little girls who were lucky enough to have a unique and special father”, as he writes in Forever the two of us – Our words of love, published by Rizzoli, the book of memories that Federica wrote by unraveling the moments spent together in a lively, sincere, shared dialogue. Two months ago, the filming of the docufilm that Walter Veltroni wanted to dedicate to the World Champion began, focusing the story above all on the origins, Prato, therefore, Paolo’s family, his first friends and the first kicks at the ball.
In these days the FIGC president Gabriele Gravina, supported by former fellow World Champions in 1982, launched the idea of naming the Olympic stadium in Rome after Pablito, but was immediately opposed by the ultras of Lazio and Rome. It is not easy to get everyone to agree, as shown by the many initiatives born in the days of emotion and then shipwrecked for one reason or another. Vicenza, the city where he exploded from a professional point of view with Lanerossi at the end of the 70s and also the place he remained most fond of, has named a pedestrian area after Paolo, Largo Paolo Rossi 9, located at the entrance of the Romeo Menti stadium.
Perugia, the other provincial team that Paolo made great with his goals, has named the sports center in the antistadium of the Renato Curi stadium after the former Grifone center forward. The Italian Footballers Association (AIC) has decided to forever bind to Paolo Rossi the award assigned since 2011 to the top scorer in Serie A. Rossi was the only player in the history of Italian football to have consecutively won the top scorer in B with 21 goals in the 1976-77 season and then confirmed himself the following season in Serie A with 24 goals, both championships in the Vicenza jersey.
In the Bucine house, in Val D’Ambra where Paolo lived with Federica and his daughters, the documentary that airs on Rai was also set, an affectionate memory of his closest friends and colleagues. Marco Tardelli, with which Paolo divided memorable seasons at Juve and in the national team and who, most of all, is spent to feed the memory of the friend considered a “brother”, Antonio Di Gennaro, who spent a lot of time on the pitch with Paolo and then in television studios as a commentator, and Nicola Zanone, who was a friend of Paolo from the beginning, when both were kids who dreamed of becoming professional footballers.
A year has passed. For Pablito’s goals, the hat-trick against Brazil in 1982, the many scored in Serie A, just a “click” is enough and memories chase each other. To confirm what it was symbol of an era, between the 70s and 80s, and of how much his name was so universal as to be immediately identified with Italy, “Paolo Rossi Italy” they said in the most remote places of the world, just go and reread what is written about him. And finally, to know the true Paul, the meek and generous man, the loving family man, the husband in love and the sincere friend; you have to listen to those who have shared a piece of their journey with him and never stop being grateful to him.
Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:
– «It was all beautiful», a film and an exhibition in memory of Paolo Rossi
– 10 years after the farewell to Bearzot, where they are the 1982 World Champions