Former coach of Italy’s national football team, Azeglio Vicini, who led the Azzurri to third place at the 1990 World Cup on home soil, has died at the age of 84.
Vicini was coach of the national side from 1986 to 1991, leading them to the semi-finals of the 1988 European Championship before achieving a similar feat at the World Cup two years later.
According to the Italian press, the octogenarian died at his home in the northern city of Brescia on Wednesday.
Vicini was one of Italy’s most prominent coaches after a 13-year senior playing career that saw him line up for Vicenza, Sampdoria and Brescia.
He coached Italy’s Under-23 team from 1975 and then their U-21s before taking over the senior squad from 1982 World Cup-winning coach Enzo Bearzot in 1986, but is best remembered for being at the helm of Italy when the country hosted the World Cup.
He guided them to the last four where their campaign was brought to an end by Diego Maradona’s Argentina in a penalty shoot-out.
His controversial selection of Salvatore “Toto” Schillaci paid off as the striker netted six goals, sparking off cries of “Veni, vidi, vici, Vicini” during Italy’s thrilling Finals run, alluding to Julius Caesar’s famous victory statement “I came, I saw, I conquered”.
He was succeeded by Arrigo Sacchi in 1991, and later coached his hometown team Cesena and Udinese before retiring in 1994.