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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 February 2021

Burglars target Italian football hero Paolo Rossi's home as family attend his funeral

Items stolen included a watch belonging to the football legend and cash

Italy's former football player Antonio Cabrini (right) and the son of Paolo Rossi, Alessandro Rossi (left), help carry the coffin of the late Italian football player. AFP
Italy's former football player Antonio Cabrini (right) and the son of Paolo Rossi, Alessandro Rossi (left), help carry the coffin of the late Italian football player. AFP

The home of Italy's 1982 World Cup hero Paolo Rossi in the Tuscan countryside was burgled during his funeral service.

Rossi's wife Federica Cappelletti returned from Saturday’s ceremony in the north-eastern Italian city of Vicenza to discover the home they shared near Bucine, south-east of Florence, had been broken into, Italian news agency AGI reported.

Items stolen included a watch belonging to the football legend and cash.

Rossi and his family lived in a farmhouse in Poggio Cennina, a hill overlooking the Val d'Ambra, where he ran an organic farming company and agri-tourism resort.

All players in Italy on Saturday took to the pitch wearing black armbands in memory of Rossi who died on Wednesday, aged 64.

A minute's silence was observed before kick-offs with Rossi's photo projected on large screens with the words "Heroes never die" and "Ciao P".

Thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral and some of his World Cup-winning team-mates carried the coffin into the cathedral.

Marco Tardelli, Antonio Cabrini, Giancarlo Antognoni, Alessandro Altobelli, Franco Causio, Fulvio Collovati and Giuseppe Bergomi were among the pallbearers.

"I have not only lost a team-mate but also a friend and a brother," said Cabrini, who provided the cross for Rossi to score the opening goal against Brazil.

"Together we fought, we won and we sometimes lost, always picking ourselves up even in the face of disappointment. We were part of a group, that group, our group. I didn't think he would leave so soon."

Ms Cappelletti announced Rossi’s death at 64 with a post on Instagram alongside a photo of the couple, accompanied by the comment "Forever," followed by a heart.

Tributes were paid to 'Pablito', the star who was banned for three years for his part in a betting scandal but returned to win the World Cup in Spain and the Ballon d'Or in the same year.

Rossi won the hearts of Italian fans during the summer of 1982, when his six tournament goals dragged Enzo Bearzot's Azzurri to what was then a third World Cup.

After his career as a footballer, Rossi also worked as a TV pundit.

Updated: December 13, 2020 02:53 PM

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