Italy started the 1982 World Cup with three uninspiring draws before they came to life and marched to the title.
Italy -- with recalled striker Paolo Rossi -- seemed a different side as they beat Brazil 3-2 to reach the semi-finals and then defeated Poland 2-0 to reach the final.
A solid West Germany edged past Spain and England into the semi-finals, where they faced France in a contest that left a bitter taste.
The match, deadlocked 3-3 after extra-time, was marred by a diabolical challenge from West Germany keeper Harald Schumacher on Patrick Battiston. Incredibly Schumacher stayed on the pitch, and made the saves that earned his side a 5-4 penalty shootout win.
Rossi's predatory skills were too much for West Germany in the final however. He opened the score in the second half, and the Italians romped to a 3-1 victory, matching Brazil's achievement of winning three World Cups. Italy's goalkeeper Dino Zoff, at 40, was the oldest player and captain of a winning side.
July 11, 1982 Italy 3 West Germany 1
1982 WORLD CUP LEGEND
Italy: b. 1956
Italy's hero almost missed out on the tournament. Caught up in a bribery scandal, he was banned for three years in 1980 but after continually protesting his innocence was cleared to play.
A slight and sprightly winger who converted to centre-forward, Rossi had an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time.
He exploded onto the stage of the 1982 finals with a hat-trick in the 3-2 defeat of Brazil. In the semi-finals he scored both goals as Italy beat Poland 2-0 and then scored the vital first goal in the final against West Germany. Finished top scorer with six goals.
Was also a member of the Italy side that finished fourth in Argentina in 1978. He scored 20 goals in 48 appearances and was voted European Footballer of the Year in 1982.
1982 WORLD CUP TOP SCORERS
Paolo Rossi (ITA) 6
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (GER) 5
Zbigniew Boniek (POL) 4
Zico (BRA) 4
1982 WORLD CUP TRIVIA
- For the first time Africa had two nations in the finals, Algeria and Cameroon. Kuwait from Asia made their debut, as did New Zealand from Oceania and Honduras from CONCACAF.
- For the first time in 22 years, the holders were beaten in their opening game, Belgium gaining a 1-0 victory over Argentina.
- Hungary set a new World Cup finals scoring record by beating El Salvador 10-1. England beat France 3-1 and Bryan Robson's goal after 27 seconds was a new World Cup record.
- Making his debut in Northern Ireland's 0-0 draw with Yugoslavia was Norman Whiteside, who at 17 years and 42 days old broke Pele's record to become the youngest player in the World Cup finals.
1982 WORLD CUP WINNING SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Ivano Bordon, Giovanni Galli, Dino Zoff
Defenders: Franco Baresi, Guiseppe Bergomi, Antonio Cabrini, Fulvio Collovati, Claudio Gentile, Gaetano Scirea, Pietro Vierchowod
Midfielders: Giancarlo Antognoni, Franco Causio, Bruno Conti, Giuseppe Dossena, Gianpiero Marini, Daniele Massaro, Gabriele Oriali, Marco Tardelli
Forwards: Alessandro Altobelli, Fransesco Graziani, Paolo Rossi, Franco Selvaggi
Coach: Enzo Bearzot