1982 World Cup: Italy wins its third title in Spain

Spain was decorated to host the biggest football party. In the previous months our country went out of its way to leave everything beautiful for the first and only World Cup to be held here. Almost all the stadiums hosting matches were renovated and equipped for such a great occasion. The opening ceremony was held at the Camp Nou in a well-remembered ceremony where they wanted to claim peace in the world. Fans still remember the symbol of the dove of peace, made up of more than 2,000 volunteers.

In terms of football, it was the World Cup in Italy, which once again made it clear that practicality in football is sometimes more effective than a beautiful game, especially if the Azzurra plays.

With their triumph, the transalpines won their third World Cup and matched the mythical Brazil that could not reach the semifinals, after being framed in the group of death, along with Italy itself with whom they fell 3-2 and the until then champion, Argentina.


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Paolo Rossi at the 1982 World Cup

Image Source: Imago

The final with a certain Paolo Rossi

Enzo Bearzot’s men beat Germany, still Federal, 3-1 in a final marked by a name: Paolo Rossi. The Italian striker had managed to avoid a fixing penalty and was able to arrive in time to put on the transalpine elastic. The striker did not start well in his appointment with the goal and completed a disastrous first phase but from then on everything turned his face. A hat-trick against Brazil in the second phase, a brace against Poland in the semi-finals and the goal that opened the final against Germany, ended in make him a national hero.

That terrifying entry by Schumacher

Any good football fan who prides himself on being one has not forgotten the action of the goalkeeper of the German team. The legendary Harald Schumacher, of such good memories for Maceda who beat him two years later with an anthological goal that gave us the pass to the final of Euro 1984, became the villain of the World Cup in Spain.

The German goalkeeper committed a chilling tackle on the Frenchman Battiston, whom he left “dead” after hitting him a kick to the chest. Silence became the owner of all the spectators of the Germany-France, thinking that the Gallic player had fallen dead, but that silence turned into indignation after seeing astonished how the referee did not point out a foul.

Patrick Battiston is carried off on a stretcher after the entry of Harald Schumacher

Image source: AFP

A tongo and an unprecedented fact

It happened in a match of the first phase in which Germany and Austria were worth a minimum victory for the Germans to put both in the next round. The public of El Molinón attended the meeting indignantly in which the forecasts that predicted “workaround” were fulfilled, even claiming the price of the ticket and concentrating in front of the Bavarian hotel to boo them. Needless to say, in the final the great Spanish fans became one more tifossi, in payment for such embarrassing German fix.

But even more strange was the incident that took place during the France-Kuwait match in the first phase, when at the end of a match, with all the fish sold, the Emir of Kuwait stopped the match by going down to the Zorrilla lawn, to indicate to the referee that he had to annul the last Gallic goal, for a supposed previous whistle from the stands. The surreal thing is that the Emir came down from the box, while the Spanish police made way for him and gave him access to the field. To everyone’s astonishment, the referee listened to the Emir and canceled the French goal. Needless to say, said braid was sanctioned for life and he was banned from refereeing ever again.

Spain disappointed in its World Cup

La Roja came to their World Cup classified as hosts and with an apparently affordable group in the first phase. He made his debut against unknown Honduras at the Luis Casanova in Valencia, which he failed to defeat and gave up a sad draw with a goal from López Ufarte. In the second game things improved and they beat Yugoslavia (2-1) with goals from Juanito and Saura. But it was in the third game when they confirmed that things were not working well when they fell to Northern Ireland before the 50,000 faithful that filled the stands of the Ché stadium.

This conditioned their next phase as they found themselves framed in a very difficult group with Germany, with whom they fell 2-1 (a goal by Zamora) and with England with whom they did not go beyond a draw, and That’s where the participation in his World Cup ended.

Debut and iron marking to Maradona

El Pelusa arrived in Spain with the label of being one of the best players in the world and after his brand new signing for Barcelona. Diego, who still arrived with the bad memory of his exclusion from the World Cup in Argentina due to his precocity, gave ample evidence of his quality, scoring two goals against Hungary. But at that time Maradona was not God, and he could not take his team to higher levels, in a team in clear decline. In the second phase they were dismounted after falling to Brazil and Italy, from whose match the iron marking to which the Italian Gentile subjected him is still remembered, without letting him touch any ball and touching the limits of legality.

Curiosities of the appointment

The mythical Naranjito, the World Cup mascot, was born and was chosen from more than 500 projects submitted. A figure that became icon of an entire country and that today is back in fashionwith an Orange shirt, in a retro style.

Naranjito, mascot of the 1982 World Cup in Spain

Image Source: Eurosport

The celebration of Sandro Pertini, Italian president, who at 86 vehemently celebrated the victory of his team, before the astonished gaze of all the personalities in the box, including SM Don Juan Carlos, is also remembered.

Was the first World Cup in which a penalty shoot-out marked the classification of a teamand no less than in one of the semifinals, in which Germany sneaked into the grand final after beating France from the fateful point (5-4).


The World Cup podium was topped by Italy, who beat Germany 3-1 in the final, and Poland, who amazed everyone with their football to finish third ahead of France.

The tournament’s top scorer was Rossi, with six goals scored, followed by German captain Rummenigge with five and Boniek, the Polish striker with four.


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1982 World Cup: Italy wins its third title in Spain