As a midfielder, Marco Tardelli won 81 caps with Italy, scoring a famous goal in his side's 3-1 win against West Germany in the final of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, with most lip readers able to see him screaming his own name in celebration as he ran toward the Azzurri bench. Now 57 and assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland national team, the former Juventus man answered UEFA.com users question in our latest #Ask session.
@Fusi2315: Can you explain your feelings before and after the final in 1982?
Marco Tardelli: Well before the tournament there was a mixture of feelings as well as negative emotions, because there were a lot of tensions within the team, but we made it to the final. After the final there were very positive emotions, of course, from the family and from the whole Italian nation. It was something I will never forget.
@JVASCAO11: What was it like winning against the great Brazil team of 82 and scoring in the final?
Tardelli: We played the perfect match. Brazil had a team full of great players and were a very creative team. The only thing that was suspect was their defence. We knew how to let them come at us and then hit them on the break. They created some chances, but we managed to hold them off.
It's just difficult to describe because I don't remember what happened exactly. It was one of these things from the world of football. We played against Germany and so we were passing the ball around in front of their goal and then [Gaetano] Scirea passed it to me, I received it and then looked for some free space, played the ball three metres away from me and tried to take a shot and almost fell over, but the ball went in. After the ball went in, I went crazy.
I think that's normal. And in that very moment, when you manage to do something like that, it's just fantastic. You become a world champion after winning that match and you recognise the magnitude of it all and, in a few seconds, your whole life flashes before your eyes. It was a really incredible thing.
@Julia88acmilan: Who do you think has been Italy's key player at this tournament?
Tardelli: Their greatest strength is [Andrea] Pirlo, absolutely, he is the soul of this team. He has imagination and creativity, and also a certain calmness. When you think about the penalty he took against England, the way he scored, that was pure recklessness but I think it was a good sign for Italy.
@patte123: People always compare Claudio Marchisio to you. Is that a fair comparison, or are the two of you different?
Tardelli: I think it's all different. I was a bit different to Marchisio in the sense that I scored goals and played in the middle, but before that I had been a little bit more defensive than Marchisio. Physically we are pretty similar.
@Mbe_the_maestro: Who do you think deserves to win these Euros?
Tardelli: Italy could win it, if they don't pay for what it cost them physically against England.
@adi7anand: Who has the most passionate fans at Euro 2012?
Tardelli: The Irish. I was very impressed by their behaviour and how they always supported their team. It's not normal what they did and there aren't many Italian fans who would have done that. But our fans have been very close to our team as well. They know about our strengths, and that we've tried our best, and they have represented our flag well.
@Sakellariou_D_K: What is your take on the match tonight between Italy and Germany?
Tardelli: I absolutely hope that Italy make it. We have a relatively positive history against the German team. In the last seven official matches against them, we have drawn four times, and they have lost three.
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