The 1982 FIFA World Cup was the first major tournament of the 80's and was held in Spain and won by Italy. A total of 24 teams participated in the tournament, which was held from June 13 to July 11, 1982.
The final match was played at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, where Italy defeated West Germany 3-1 to win their third World Cup.
Paolo Rossi was the tournament's top scorer with 6 goals, and was also named the player of the tournament. The tournament was notable for the high number of goals scored, with a total of 146 goals in just 52 matches, an average of 2.8 goals per match.
It is impossible to choose only five players as the greatest from the numerous brilliant soccer players who competed in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. However, the following players deserve special recognition for their performances at the tournament.
Paolo Rossi was banned from participating in professional soccer in the years before the 1982 World Cup because he was involved in a betting scandal. Despite this suspension, Rossi was bought back by Juventus in 1981, and he made his way back into the starting lineup at the later part of the 1981–82 season, helping the team win the 1981–82 Italian soccer championship (with one goal in three games) and helping Italy qualifying for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain.
Before the World Cup started Italian media and tifosi initially bemoaned that he was in very poor shape, and Italy's awful performance in the three group matches seemed to support this opinion. He was described as a "ghost aimlessly roaming over the field."
Nonetheless, Italy's manager Enzo Bearzot stubbornly maintained Rossi for the second round's important games, in which his team would face Argentina—the reigning World Champions—and Brazil—the favorites to win the title with a team consisting of world-class players like Sócrates, Zico, and Falco.
Italy advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Argentina, thanks in large part to the efforts of Claudio Gentile and Gaetano Scirea in shutting down the young Argentine superstar Diego Maradona, while a hat trick from Rossi helped them beat Brazil 3-2.
Once again, Rossi's two goals were the difference in Italy's next victory, this time over Poland in the 1982 World Cup semi-finals.
Rossi scored the opening goal for Italy in the World Cup final against West Germany, off an indirect set-piece pass from Gentile. Rossi's goal helped Italy win the match 3-1, and he and his side went on to win the championship for the third time.
With six goals, he was nominated to the tournament's all-star team and received the tournament's top individual honor, the máximo goleador award, the Golden Boot, for being the tournament's top scorer.
After scoring six goals for Italy at the 1982 World Cup, Rossi was hailed as a national hero. Rossi's first goal in the World Cup final was extremely crucial, and it was noted by Peter Mason of The Guardian that the victory "was a cathartic moment for the nation, which had been subject to significant social and political unrest for a number of years and, despite being regarded as one of the world's premier footballing nations, had not won a World Cup since 1938."
Zbigniew "Zibi" Boniek, a Polish midfielder, was one of the greatest players in the competition and was instrumental in his team's finish in third place, their best performance in the World Cup to date. He is considered one of the greatest Polish soccer players of all time and is also known for his quick speed, dribbling skills, and goalscoring ability.
Boniek began his professional career in Poland with Zawisza Bydgoszcz and Widzew Łódź before moving to Italy to play for Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles and the 1983 European Cup. He later played for AS Roma and ended his career there after scoring 17 goals in 76 matches.
He was a fan’s favourite at Juve, earning the somewhat ambiguous nickname ‘Bello di notte’ – ‘Beautiful by night’ for his wonderful performances in evening fixtures.
Michel Platini was a key player for the French national team in the 1982 World Cup, held in Spain. He was instrumental in helping France reach the semi-finals, where they lost to Germany.
Soccer legend Pelé said this about Michel Platini: "He didn't run a lot like Cruyff and didn't depend on his physique, but I liked how he was the brain organising things on the pitch. He was a player who used his head in the broader sense. The way he shone with France and Juventus, and his capacity for taking free-kicks, made him the European footballer of the 1980s."
Socrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, commonly known as Socrates, was a Brazilian professional soccer player who played as a midfielder. He was known for his technical ability, vision, and leadership skills on the field.
In the 1982 World Cup, held in Spain, Socrates was a key player for the Brazilian national team. He captained the team and was known for his commanding presence in the midfield, helping to dictate the tempo of the game and creating opportunities for his teammates. Despite the talented squad, Brazil were eliminated in the second round of the tournament, but Socrates' performances were widely praised.
Aside from his on-field achievements, Socrates was also known for his off-field activities and outspoken views on politics and society. He was highly educated and had a degree in medicine, and was known for his charismatic personality and love of life.
In the 1982 World Cup Rummenigge was a key player for the West German national team. He was the team's top scorer in the tournament, with 5 goals, and was instrumental in helping West Germany reach the final, where they lost to Italy. Despite the defeat, Rummenigge's performances were widely praised, and he was named the second-best player of the tournament.
In the group match against Chile, Rummenigge managed to score 3 goals.