'No Italian has given more to football' – Infantino calls for Stadio Olimpico to be renamed after Paolo Rossi

By Sports Desk April 04, 2022

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for Italian authorities to honour the legacy of Paolo Rossi by naming the Stadio Olimpico after the former forward.

Rossi scored six goals to claim the Golden Boot and Golden Ball as Italy lifted the 1982 World Cup, while he was awarded the Ballon d'Or in the same year – the only player to win all four trophies in the same year.

During that competition, Rossi guided his side into the knockout stages as his hat-trick propelled Italy to a 3-2 group-stage victory over a formidable Brazil team, which included legends Socrates and Zico.

Rossi still remains Italy's joint-top scorer at World Cups, with his nine goals only matched by fellow attackers Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri.

The former Vicenza and Juventus striker died aged 64 in 2020, and Infantino implored the Italian Football Federation (IFF) to mark Rossi's legacy by naming Lazio and Roma's Olimpico stadium after him.

"What are we waiting for to name the Olimpico after Paolo Rossi? There isn't another Italian who has given more to this sport," he said on Monday at an event to remember former IFF president Artemio Franchi.

"So, please I'm saying this to all the directors here. Please, help us, I think Paolo deserves it."

Infantino also recalled a meeting with former referee Abraham Klein, who officiated the meeting between Italy and Brazil in 1982 and ruled out what would have been Italy's fourth goal through Giancarlo Antognoni.

"Among other things, he admitted that Antognoni's goal [that was disallowed for offside] was valid, so let's rectify the result, it ended 4-2," he added on Klein before discussing the legacy of Franchi.

"I am president of FIFA, who for the first time in its history has appointed a woman general secretary. These are the values ​​that football gives and that we managers must protect, as did Artemio Franchi.

"It means listening, but also making decisions and acting: without this, Italy probably would not have won the European Championships and would not have qualified for the World Cup, UEFA would not have taken the steps it took at a time when Europe was uniform.

"As leaders, we must always seek, with diplomacy and emotion to bring the sport back to play this very important role of giving emotions to people."

Related items

  • Mourinho's Roma sign right-back Celik from Lille Mourinho's Roma sign right-back Celik from Lille

    Zeki Celik has become Jose Mourinho's third signing of the transfer window at Roma, joining from Lille for a reported €7million fee.

    Celik, who has signed a four-year contract with the Serie A club, was said to be of interest to Mourinho when he was Tottenham coach.

    He follows midfielder Nemanja Matic and goalkeeper Mile Svilar – both of whom were free transfers – to Rome.

    "For me, it is an honour to play for such an important club," Celik said. "I have great ambitions and I want to contribute to the success of the team.

    "I feel ready and focused. I never give up, and you will always see me fighting on the pitch."

    Celik spent four seasons at Lille, winning the Ligue 1 title in 2020-21.

    However, that successful team has been broken up over the past 12 months, with Mike Maignan, Boubakary Soumare, Jonathan Ikone, Sven Botman and now Celik all moved on.

    Renato Sanches is thought to be a transfer target for both Paris Saint-Germain and Milan.

  • Rumour Has It: Cristiano Ronaldo willing to take pay cut to secure Man Utd exit Rumour Has It: Cristiano Ronaldo willing to take pay cut to secure Man Utd exit

    Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United and is willing to make some allowances to secure the move.

    Reports of Ronaldo's transfer request emerged over the weekend, although United are said to be holding firm in their desire to keep the superstar.

    That has not stopped the rumours around a potential destination for the Portugal great, though, and he is doing all he can to get the move he wants.

    TOP STORY – RONALDO WILLING TO TAKE PAY CUT

    The Independent reports Ronaldo is willing to take a "considerable" pay cut in order to move to a Champions League contender.

    The forward's desire to win another European crown was widely cited as key to his decision to push for a departure from United, and the report suggests the player is hopeful a reduced salary could entice leading clubs.

    Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, who employ great rival Lionel Messi, are listed as potential suitors.

    The Athletic also again reports Chelsea's interest following talk of a meeting between Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes and new Stamford Bridge owner Todd Boehly earlier in the close-season.

    The Sun says Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is reluctant to agree to such a transfer, though, while AS claims Mendes has also met with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

    ROUND-UP

    – Corriere dello Sport claims Bayern Munich are looking to bring in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen for a fee in the vicinity of €100million if Robert Lewandowski is to leave.

    – According to Fabrizio Romano, Tottenham have agreed to sign 27-year-old Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet for a fee of £17.2m.

    – The Sun is reporting Arsenal have made a £47m bid for 27-year-old Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

    – After loaning Romelu Lukaku to Inter, Chelsea are also weighing up a potential loan move for Hakim Ziyech to Milan, according to The Athletic.

    – The Mirror claims United representatives have met with Ajax to discuss a £39.6m offer for defender Lisandro Martinez.

  • Head coach Lorne Donaldson says Reggae Girlz are ready ahead of final round of CONCACAF Women's Championship Head coach Lorne Donaldson says Reggae Girlz are ready ahead of final round of CONCACAF Women's Championship

    Reggae Girlz head coach Lorne Donaldson says his team is ready to go ahead of their Concacaf Women’s Championship final round opener against Mexico on Monday.

    Jamaica and Mexico are in Group A of the final round along with Haiti and the United States while Group B contains Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.

    The four semi-finalists after the group stage will advance to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

    “I think, if we have everybody healthy and ready to go, we will give a good account of ourselves. The girls will come out and be ready to play. The first few minutes may be a little rusty because they haven’t played a game in a while but, when the game settles down, I think we can put some good stuff together,” Donaldson said in a pre-match interview on Sunday.

    The match will be played at the University Stadium in Nueva Leon, home of the Liga MX club Tigres UANL, with kick-off scheduled for 9:00pm Jamaica time (10:00pm EST).

    The Jamaicans, who spent the last two weeks in training camp in Denver, Colorado, know what to expect in enemy territory according to their head coach.

    “Obviously, we play Mexico who’s the home team. They’ll have a lot of fans in the stadium and we know what to expect. Hopefully the preparation we’ve had can nullify some of their strengths,” said Donaldson.

    “It’s going to be a difficult game but hopefully we can grind and battle through it so the result can fall in our favor,” he added.

    Both teams come into this game on the back of some good form as the Reggae Girlz have scored 24 goals and conceded just two in their last four games while Mexico have scored 25 and conceded just one.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.