Brazil's magnificent 1982 team are widely regarded as the greatest side never to win the World Cup. Tele Santana's men boasted a host of brilliant players such as Leandro, Junior, Socrates, Falcao, Eder and the world's best player Zico. Prior to their match with Italy, they had scored 13 goals in four games and delighted neutrals with some sublime Samba football. The Selecao were hot favourites to win the World Cup in Spain, and required just a draw against the Azzurri to qualify for the semi-finals.
Italy had struggled badly in the competition, drawing all three of their first round group games and issuing a press silence after massive media criticism. They had shown some signs of improvement in defeating Argentina 2-1, but no one expected them to beat the great Brazil and go on to lift the World Cup.
Paolo Rossi, coming off two years of inactivity, burst into life with a stunning hat-trick as Italy won 3-2. Twice the Azzurri led, but twice Brazil hit back through Socrates and a Falcao screamer. With 16 minutes remaining Rossi scored the winner, turning home from a corner. This clash had everything - missed chances, end-to-end action, individual genius from Bruno Conti and Falcao, Zico having his shirt ripped in half by man-marker Claudio Gentile, a controversial disallowed goal for Italy that would have put them 4-2 up, and a heroic late save from 40-year-old Dino Zoff on Oscar's header.
In Image: Argentinian goalkeeper Ubaldo Fillol and captain Daniel Passarella prevent Italian striker Paolo Rossi from scoring 29 June 1982 in Barcelona during the World Cup second round soccer match between Italy and Argentina. Italy beat Argentina 2-1 despite a goal by Passarella.
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