Brazil are today a better footballing nation because of the 3-2 defeat by Italy in the 1982 World Cup, says Paolo Rossi.
“Facing Brazil has always been difficult,” Rossi told the Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of this evening’s friendly.
“It will become even more so because our opponents, with their innate technical skills, have learned to add the quality tactics that they were missing.
“It can be said that they learnt a lot just from that 3-2 when they only needed a draw to progress, but instead they wanted to prove that they were the best and ended up losing.”
That Spain 1982 encounter was the last time that the Azzurri have managed to beat the South American giants.
“The Brazil of today can rely on a huge pool of players,” Rossi added. “It is a country in great expansion and they no longer need to send their stars abroad.
“Especially now that the World Cup is approaching which they’ll want to win at all costs seeing as they will be the hosts.”