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Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Italian coaching legend Enzo Bearzot dies at 83

Enzo Bearzot
Bearzot was revered throughout Italy after leading them to the 1982 World Cup

Italy's 1982 World Cup-winning coach Enzo Bearzot has died in Milan aged 83.

Bearzot - who was appointed in 1975 and led the team at the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups - had been seriously ill for several years, Italian media reported.

At the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Italy recovered from a slow start to beat Argentina and Brazil before triumphing 3-1 over West Germany in the final.

"Enzo Bearzot was one of the greatest figures in 20th century Italy," said former Italy striker Paolo Rossi.

Bearzot, a former Inter Milan defender, led Italy for 104 matches.

Italy's Marco Tardelli celebrates after scoring against West Germany in the 1982 World Cup final

1982 - Italy win third World Cup

He also played for Catania and Torino, and was capped once by Italy in a 2-0 defeat in Hungary in 1955.

Bearzot led Italy to fourth place at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina before the 1982 triumph ended a 44-year wait for a third global title.

"He was like a a father to me," Rossi told Ansa news agency. "I owe everything to him."

"Goodbye 'old man', we will miss your wisdom," said a statement from Serie A, Italy's top league, without giving a cause of death.

His passing comes 42 years to the day after the death of Vittorio Pozzo, who coached Italy to World Cup wins in 1934 and 1938.

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see also
1982 - Italy win third World Cup
02 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
1982 World Cup - Top 10 goals
20 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights: Italy oust Brazil in 1982
20 May 06 |  Football
World Cup history - Spain 1982
04 May 06 |  World Cup 2006
1982 - Rossi inspires Italian success
29 Mar 02 |  Photo Galleries

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