Paolo Rossi scored one of Italy's most famous goals against Germany to open the scoring in the 1982 FIFA World Cup final triumph, and as the Azzurri prepare to take on the three-time European champions in another crucial game, the former Juventus and AC Milan forward answered your questions. With 20 goals in 48 appearances for Italy, Rossi was the top scorer in his country's third World Cup success, and he shared his thoughts on the semi-final, Andrea Pirlo's Panenka-style penalty against England and why Cesare Prandelli's team have impressed.
@ferry_cules: Will Italy beat Germany and what strategies should be used?
Paolo Rossi: Italy's chances are 50-50 in my opinion. Germany are physically stronger than us and fresher because they didn't play extra time in the quarter-finals. Italy can count on high-class players and they should try to take the initiative to avoid Germany gaining the upper hand with their extra energy. The Azzurri have to make the most of their chances up front.
@AJM_ACM: What do you think of the Azzurri's campaign so far and what are your expectations for the semi-final against Germany?
Rossi: Italy have played the best football in the tournament so far. Our midfield with [Andrea] Pirlo, [Daniele] De Rossi, [Riccardo] Montolivo and [Claudio] Marchisio is one of the best in the world. It's going to be a hard game against Germany, but we know how to beat them and they don't like playing against us because we have always won from 1970 up to the present day.
@F1_Oscar_: How do you think the Italian performance differs from previous years?
Rossi: Italy have showed great character at EURO, a trait that was missing in some past tournaments. There is cohesion in the team, the same as there was in 1982.
@2Phingas: What are your thoughts on Pirlo's brilliant penalty [against England] in such a high profile game?
Rossi: Pirlo is a massive player and has enough composure to wait until the very last second before kicking the ball. A few players in the world are capable of doing something like that and I think a touch of madness is needed. When the ball crossed the line, I let out a sigh of relief.
@giuscolu: Who is currently the best forward in the game?
Paolo Rossi: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the best by far.
@christianyoun16: Do you miss playing for Italy?
Rossi: I really miss it. I have very strong links with the Italian shirt, perhaps more than anyone else, because my best days in football came with Italy. When you play for the national team the whole country is with you and winning gives you double satisfaction. You feel a huge sense of belonging.
@Ado7official: What was your favourite goal and who was it against?
Rossi: The most important goal in my career was the first one I scored at the World Cup in 1982 against Brazil in Barcelona. It took a weight off my shoulders and definitely kick-started the tournament for me.
@FutboldelEgeo: Who was the toughest team to face in your career?
Rossi: At international level, Argentina were the hardest team to play against. We had three games against them at the World Cups in 1978, 1982 and 1986. We won two and drew one but I remember them as the most talented and difficult team I ever faced.
@adi7anand: Who has been the greatest Italian player in the 21st century thus far?
Rossi: Francesco Totti has probably been the best player in the last decade. His skills, ability, physical strength and intelligence on the pitch made him a symbol for Roma and the whole of Italian football.
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