OBITUARY: Enzo Bearzot (1927-2010)

[ITALY] Enzo Bearzot, the pipe-smoking coach who led Italy to its 1982 World Cup championship, died after a long illness at the age of 83.

Bearzot took over the Azzurri in 1977 and coached one of the greatest generation of Italian players, led by Paolo Rossi, the star of their 1982 championship team. After scraping through the first round with three ties and one goal, Italy beat Argentina, heavy favorite Brazil, Poland and West Germany en route to their third world title.

"Enzo Bearzot was one of the greatest figures in 20th century Italy," Rossi told Ansa news agency. "He was like a a father to me. I owe everything to him."

Bearzot also coached Italy at the 1978 and 1986 World Cups.

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