Italian coach Bearzot dead at 83

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ROME, December 21 – Enzo Bearzot, who coached Italy to their World Cup triumph in 1982, has died after a long illness at the age of 83, the Sky Sport 24 television station reported on Tuesday.Taking over as national team coach in 1977, Bearzot enjoyed his moment of glory in Spain when an Italian side that featured youthful goal-scorer Paolo Rossi and legendary goalkeeper Dino Zoff stunned tournament favourites Brazil 3-2 in the quarter-finals.

They then went on to defeat Poland 2-0 in the semi-finals and West Germany 3-1 in the final for Italy’s third World Cup triumph.

Bearzot’s playing career saw him turn out for Inter Milan and Torino before he retired and worked his way through the national coaching system to become head coach in 1977, holding the position until 1986.

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

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