Cabrini Reminisces 1982 World Cup Exploits Against Argentina

Iconic Italy left-back Antonio Cabrini, who played a pivotal part in the country’s 1982 FIFA World Cup victory, has reminisced his exploits with the national team and especially his instrumental goal against Argentina in the first match in the Group of Death. Italy were pit against the Albiceleste and Brazil in what is still touted to be one of the deadliest ever groups in World Cup history, according to The Guardian.

In an exclusive interview with Il Messaggero, Bell’Antonio recalled how important Italy’s 2-1 victory in the opening matchday was, where the defender scored the decisive second goal with an impeccable left-footed drive into the top left corner.

“It was one of the most important of my career. That success was decisive for the whole competition. We were on our own against everyone, we had to react by giving a signal to the outside because otherwise it would have been a massacre.”

Cabrini also recalled how Azzurri coach Enzo Bearzot assigned the task of marking the legendary Diego Armano Maradona to iconic defensive behemoth Claudio Gentile, at Espanyol’s former Sarrià Stadium in Barcelona.

“Bearzot put Gentile on Maradona and he was fantastic, but the whole team played a great game. After the match I remember that the eyes of my parents and my brother, who were present, were shining.”

Italy went on to defeat Brazil in the other group match, thanks to Paolo Rossi’s unforgettable hattrick, before the striker dispatched Poland with a brace in the semi-finals. West Germany succumbed 3-1 to Italy in the final. Cabrini ended his club career at Bologna, before which he capped for Juventus more than 300 times over the span of 13 years.