Tuesday December 21 2010
Tributes pour in for Bearzot

The great and the good of Italian football have come out to pay tribute to the late Enzo Bearzot who passed away this morning in Milan.

Bearzot is widely regarded as one of the best Italian tacticians. His finest hour came in 1982 when amid low expectations he managed to win the World Cup.

The players from that side have been among the first to pay their respects to him.

"Enzo Bearzot was one of the great Italians of the 20th century, of this I have no doubt" said Paolo Rossi.

"For me, he was like a father. I owe everything to him. Without him I wouldn't have managed to do what I did. He was a person of incredible honesty and a trainer of great value.

"He personified the Italian people and even if he wasn't a scientist or an artist, he will remain in the history of the last century as one of the great Italians."

Bruno Conti echoed Rossi's thoughts, telling Sky Italia: "For me, he was like a father. Aside from being a great Coach, I want to remember the man, a great man, with great values."

Several Italian clubs have released official statements expressing their condolences, including Milan, Inter, Lazio and Torino.

Marcello Lippi was particularly shocked at the news. "How and when did it happen?" Lippi asked.

"It's a story that gives me deep pain and great displeasure," he said. "Enzo was always close to me and to Italy during my time in charge of La Nazionale.

"We heard from and saw each other often. Among other things, I had him as a Coach when I was called up to represent Italy at Under-23 level.

"I am proud to be in Italian football history close to a great like Bearzot," he concluded.

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