On the 5th July 1982, at the Estadio Sarria in Barcelona, Italy and Brazil faced off.
For Italy, they HAD to win to stand any chance of progressing to the next round of the World Cup due to their inferior goal difference, and for Brazil it was a ‘must not lose‘ game, otherwise that would mean the end of the road for them in the 1982 World Cup.
The 44000 spectators that day had no idea that they were about to witness one of the greatest games in soccer history….
The game was played at a fast pace from the word go, and it was the Italians who took advantage of that, when Paolo Rossi gave Italy an early goal and a dream start to the game in only the 5th minute.
It took the Brazilians almost no time to find a response, however, when Sócrates fired his shot in at the near post, beating the goalkeeper who perhaps could have done better.
With the game at 1-1, Brazil would be the team to progress to the Semi Finals, due to them having the better goal difference, so Italy had to score at least 1 more without reply from Brazil.
In the 25th minute, Paolo Rossi scored his second goal of the game, as he intercepted a pass, used his quick feet to dribble past the defender, and buried the ball past the `keeper.
The 2nd half of the game wasn’t quite played at the same tempo, but that didn’t stop the countries from scoring, this time it was Falcao who found the net, equalising the score line at 2-2.
The Italians didn’t stop there though, and Paolo Rossi completed his hat trick in the 74th minute to give Italy the advantage for the 3rd time in the game.
Italy then had a 4th goal wrongly ruled out for offside, replays showing that the Italian was indeed onside.
In the dying embers of the match, Oscar was brilliantly denied by the Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff, his save ensuring the Italians progression to the Semis, where they would beat Poland, as they eventually came out on top of the whole tournament
My favorite moment of the match was the save from the great Dino Zoff. The ball in from the free kick was good, the header was even better, and As the Brazilians leapt up in the air to celebrate a goal, Zoff managed to catch the ball, and save it from crossing the line.
What a way to ensure your country progresses to the next round. An inspiration for young goalkeepers, showing how to step up to the biggest stage when your country needs you the most
Why do I think this ranks in the top 10 soccer matches of all time?
Because of two great footballing nations both expressing their style of play with freedom, there was lots of goalmouth action, good saves, good tackles, and at they end of the day, the occasion-for a place in the World Cup semi final!
Watch the highlights of the game in the video below and let us know if you think this game deserves to be on our list of Top 10 Classic Matches: