The Spanish adventure at the 1982 World Cup began in Vigo. The National Team led by Enzo Bearzot was in a round apparently without traps - together with Poland, Peru and Cameroon. It emerged from it with three ties and a lot of controversy. Only the difference in goals qualified Italy for the next round at the expense of the surprising and unbeaten Cameroon.
The climate was not a happy one, due to the difficult relations with journalists, to the point that the Italian Team made a decision without precedent: a news blackout.From the cold of Vigo to the heat of Barcelona: Italy now had to take on the outgoing World Champions, Argentina and the great favorites, Brazil. It looked like a hopeless challenge.
Instead, the match against Argentina marked the rebirth of the Azzurri. Passarella's team was wiped out by Bearzots boys: Gentile stopped Maradona, Tardelli and Cabrini slipped in to Fillol's goal. Argentina was on its knees. But Brazil against the Argentinians scored an additional goal, so they only needed a tie to advance to the semi-finals. The encounter between Italy and Brazil was legendary.July 5, Sarrià Stadium in Barcelona, 5:15 pm. Italy immediately pulled ahead.At 5 minutes, Conti served to Cabrini, a cross to Rossi who with his head put the ball in the goal defended by a frightened Valdir Peres. Seven minutes later Socrates tied. But Italy did not lose heart and at 25 minutes pulled ahead again with Rossi.About twenty minutes from the end, Falcao, with a strength born of despair, tied. It seemed like the end, but instead, a few minutes later, a reborn Pablito made a fool of the Brazilian goalkeeper. It was a triumph. But there was more room for emotion. After a goal by Antognoni was unjustly denied, at the last minute, Oscar smashed into the Azzurri goal with his head. It was the last illusion for Brazil: they exulted, thinking they've tied, but Zoff, who stopped the ball on the line, reminded them that life begins at forty.
Italy was in the semi-finals and found Lato's Poland orphaned, however, of Boniek, who was disqualified. It was a formality: Rossi scored another two splendid goals and the Azzurri flew into the finals where they were awaited by a West Germany exhausted from the extraordinary semi-finals won with their last penalty against Platini's France.Sunday, July 11, 1982, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, 8 pm. The whole world was ready to watch Italy's triumph. Even the President of the Republic, Sandro Pertini, hastened to the platform alongside the King of Spain, Juan Carlos. Cabrini earned a penalty in the first half. But in the second Italy took off. After the umpteenth foul on Oriali there was a free kick that put the ball in the German area. Many threw themselves towards it, but only one head hit the ball, sending it into the net: Rossi's. It was an amazing goal. A little later, through an action that started directly from Zoff's arms and was conducted by Scirea, Bergomi and Rossi into the German area, the ball reached Tardelli who beat Schumacher with an irresistible diagonal kick. The famous shout that follwed was liberating for the whole country. After an epic run by Conti on the right side, Altobelli put the seal on the match. The Germans had time to score the consolation goal with Breitner. Then the end and delirium: the triple whistle from the referee Coelho and Italy was Champion of the World as emphasized three times, with a voice broken with emotion, by television reporter Nando Martellini. Rossi was top goalscorer for the World Cup. To captain Zoff, the task of being first to raise the Fifa Cup. But the triumph belonged to the whole team and its manager: Enzo Bearzot.