UEFA president Michel Platini has paid tribute to former Italian national-team coach and FIFA World Cup winner Enzo Bearzot, who has passed away at the age of 83.
Bearzot was national-team coach from 1975 to 1986, when he left the post following a record 104 games at the helm – including 88 in sole charge – winning 51 and drawing 28. He enjoyed his finest hour in 1982, when he led Italy to FIFA World Cup glory in Spain.
"As president of UEFA, and on behalf of the entire European football family, I would like to express my sadness at the death of Enzo Bearzot," said Mr Platini.
"Enzo Bearzot was a hero in Italy for leading his country to the world title, and was a hugely respected coach throughout the world of football," said Mr Platini. "He was a coaching legend whose qualities were exceptional. I admired him both as a man and as a coach. I recall the moment well when he lifted the World Cup in 1982, and it is appropriate that he will be remembered by the history books for this proud moment."
Mr Platini added that he met Enzo Bearzot for the first time at the 1978 FIFA World Cup, when the French and Italian squads were sharing the same hotel.
"Then in 1979, he selected me to play in the match between Argentina and a world team," the UEFA president said. "This was an unforgettable experience for me, and it was here that I got to know Enzo Bearzot - the gentleman and great coach."
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