World Cup Moments - Hat-trick hero Rossi

Italy's clash with Brazil in Barcelona in 1982 is remembered as one of the most thrilling matches in the history of the World Cup.

If this game - a 3-2 victory for Italy - was among the greatest since the tournament's inception, then hat-trick hero Paolo Rossi was comfortably its key protagonist.

Pre-tournament favourites Brazil headed into the match having won their previous four matches, largely in comfortable fashion, while both sides had downed Diego Maradona and Argentina to set up a showdown at the Estadio Sarria.

Heading into the fixture, Rossi's imminent hero status would have been hard to have imagined. The forward had returned to the game as a pariah after being banned for two years following his part in the Totonero match-fixing scandal of 1980.

There were many who felt that he ought not have been included in the squad due to the controversy that surrounded him, and by the time the Brazil game came around, there were further calls for him to be dropped. Indeed, Rossi was yet to find the net in the tournament, and had done little to suggest that he'd burst into life in such style against Brazil.

Yet he did just that, scoring in the fifth, 25th and 74th minutes to give the Azzurri the lead on three occasions.

Twice Brazil levelled - through Socrates and Falcao - but they had no answer when Rossi connected with a poor clearance 16 minutes from time to write himself into the history books.

The forward's strike took Italy through - as Brazil would have progressed on 2-2 if the scores had remained tied - and Enzo Bearzot's side proceeded to down Poland and West Germany en route to their third title.

While the defeat came as something of a reality check for a Brazilian side who had previously relied on their exuberance and delicious offensive football, it ensured a measure of revenge for Italy following their 1970 defeat to the Selecao.