It is a well known fact that history sometimes repeats itself, even if it’s in different contexts. Fortunately for Italian soccer fans, this concept represents a great privilege. As the entire planet is passionately getting ready to welcome the world’s most beautiful sporting event in 2014 in the form of the World Cup, the Italians hope is to see their new Rossi repeat the same heroic deeds done by the previous incarnation in 1982.
The two involved are none other than Paolo Rossi and Giuseppe Rossi. The first one, commonly known as Pablito, is unquestionably recognized as the main hero in the World Cup triumph of 31 years ago in which he scored six goals, including a hat trick to Brazil.
The other one, appropriately nicknamed Pepito by Italy’s 1982 coach Enzo Bearzot for his soccer similarities to Paolo, has already earned the reputation of being one of the most likely players to become heroes for the fans during the upcoming tournament in Brazil — exactly the same country whose national team Pablito destroyed.
Besides the last name and the resemblance on the pitch, the two appear to have a similar destiny as Pepito seems to be approaching the World Cup on a sort of quest for redemption for the misfortune that happened to him over the last two years. He suffered to serious knee injuries that kept him away from the field for a long time, and it forced him to miss both the 2012 European Championship and the 2013 Confederations Cup.
A very similar situation to Pablito in 1982 as he approached the competition with the same kind of feeling despite no injury being involved. Instead, this feeling was created from his involvement in the Totonero scandal of 1980, in which he was sentenced to a two-year ban. For him, the World Cup represented an authentic renaissance and the best way to forget his previous struggles.
With the wish that Pepito will be also able to find his redemption in the World Cup in Brazil, boss Cesare Prandelli is very aware that the 26-year-old represents one of the strongest assets for the Azzurri given his immense qualities both on and off the field.
He will definitely be the first option to play along with Mario Balotelli on the attacking side. Together, they will create a partnership that very few teams in the world have the privilege of owning, and will try to relive the magic of 1982. After all, even their last names rhyme with those of the three goal scorers of that year’s final: Rossi, Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli.