On the evening of 11 July 1982, I sat down in the lounge of the Bertaccini family’s flat in the Villa Mazzi in Fiesole to watch the World Cup final; Italy against Germany. Italy were the first team to come through the Group stages without winning a single game (they drew all three), but they came into their own once the knock-out phase was reached. The azzurri won, 3-1, equalling Brazil’s record of three World Cup victories. A delighted Sandro Pertini wagged his finger as if to say ‘no way back’ long before the end of the game. This was the Italy of a voracious Paolo Rossi (a hat trick against Brazil!) and the venerable Dino Zoff (at forty, the oldest-ever player to win the World Cup). I don’t remember that much about the match, to be honest, but I do remember how the whole of Fiesole (including the Bertaccinis and Martin Westlake) poured into Piazza Mino and then started to flow down the hillside to Florence. I remember pedestrian crossings painted red, white and green and I remember the first freshly-painted cars (again, red, white and green) emerging to join the procession. And I remember the fireworks and the crush in Piazza della Republicca and the extraordinary effusion of joy. The whole of Italy erupted. A great footballing nation had won the greatest prize of all. But it was about more than that; Italy was five years away from il grande sorpasso. Italians would soon have much more to be proud about. The man who brought them that famous victory, Enzo Bearzot, has passed away at the age of 83. He never reached the same heights again; a brilliant Michel Platini did for the azzurri in Mexico in 1986. But he surely had the quiet pleasure of knowing that he had brought pride and joy to millions of his compatriots.