What the blue heroes of the 1982 World Cup do today

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More than someone comments on football on TV, one is a financial broker, another a year ago raised a cup while confetti was raining from the sky, one sees little and spends time in front of the sea, another wears colorful and unlikely jackets, two of them are no longer there, they left too soon, many are retired, because of age is that: they were boys and men in 1982, they were the best Italian youth, they were the heroes of the 1982 World Cup won in Spain and those always will remain.

Icons. They are still all friends and to confirm this there is a chat – the famous chat on Whatsapp of the World Champions. They say good morning every morning, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, have fun posting videos that make you laugh or songs that make you remember, like that Cuccuruccucù Paloma which became the soundtrack of the blue adventure in Spain.


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But what are the Azzurri in 1982 doing today, forty years after that epochal feat that entered the imagination of Italians? Dino Zoff, the captain, celebrated his 80th birthday in February, is still fit, spends his mornings in a club in Rome, plays golf, gives interviews to the many journalists – Italian and foreign – who still want to know: how did you do it? To celebrate the Mundial he wrote, together with the correspondent of Republic Maurizio Crosetti, The most beautiful cup in the world (Baldini + Castoldi editions).

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Claudio Gentile rides a bicycle on the roads of Lake Como, where do you live; Antonio Cabrinithe ex-boyfriend of Italy, takes care of his entrepreneurial activities. Fulvio Collovati and Marco Tardelli they are among the most appreciated and listened to by Rai commentators. Lele Oriali – that of the «life as a midfielder» sung by Ligabue – is the team manager of Mancini’s national team and a year ago at Wembley he celebrated the victory of the European title.

Also Bruno Conti he remained in football: he is in fact the reference manager of the Roma youth sector. A similar role – at Fiorentina – he occupied until a few months ago Giancarlo Antognoni. Ciccio Graziani – instead – that of the jackets – discusses football with great irony in the Mediaset networks while Beppe Bergomi, the Uncle who at the time was seventeen and the youngest of the group, is a commentator on Sky, as well as Franco Causio he works for Udinese television, the team where he ended his career, e Beppe Dossena tour the television salons of Italy. Giampiero Marini – who in 1982 cheered the blue group by playing the guitar – continues to cultivate his passion and has been active in the world of finance for some time. Alessandro «Spillo» Altobelli – who scored the final 3-1 goal on the night of the Bernabeu – travels the world commenting on football for various foreign broadcasts.

Go ahead with the reservations: Franco Baresi – who didn’t play even a minute in that Mundial – is Milan’s honorary vice president (and supports him Daniele Massaro in the role of ambassador), Ivano Bordon – Deputy Zoff – works as a goalkeeper coach and – curiosity – is the only one to have won two World Championships: he was on the staff of Lippi’s collaborators when Italy won the World Cup in Germany. Giovanni Galli he is involved in politics in Florence, the city where he lives and where he also raced for the mayor’s seat. Peter Vierchowod looks after his real estate interests while Franco Selvaggi – the famous Spadino of the group – manages a youth center near Matera, where he was born, and works as an observer for the FIGC.

There were twenty-two, the blues from Spain. There are twenty left. Two of them are gone. Gaetano Scirea, an example of style and humanity, died very young, in 1989, at the age of 36, in a car accident in Poland: he was there as a Juventus observer. Great was the pain – on 9 December 2020 – for the disappearance of Paolo Rossithe Pablito loved by all his teammates, the center forward defended like a son by the coach Enzo Bearzot – he also left in 2010 – which in a few days became the hero of that World Cup, earning the eternal affection of the Italians.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

– World Cup without Italy, who to cheer for?

– Italy-Brazil, the best match ever told to a millennial

Source: Vanity Fair

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