The Match: The Story of Italy v Brazil

Piero Trellini

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From the publisher:

The book tells the tale of an extraordinary sports event – a match described by Time magazine in 2010 as the most beautiful game in football history: Italy v Brazil at Spain 82.

Piero Trellini delves into the stories and lives of the many great players and characters who shone on that day and lit up that unforgettable match – from Paolo Rossi to Sócrates, from Enzo Bearzot to Zico – as well as some forgotten figures who all played their part.

The Match takes us on a fascinating journey through the 1982 World Cup, and includes fresh insight and fascinating anecdotes on the historical and sporting links between the two countries. Italy, a nation historically at the forefront of football, did not arrive in Spain as favourites, with widespread doubts about their chances, not least in the Italian press. This is one of the reasons why their triumph that summer is still celebrated in Italy above any others by the Azzurri.

Read and discover:

  • What referee Abraham Klein was thinking during the match, what was going on in his life and how the war in Lebanon was on his mind during those 90 minutes
  • How a handful of players and journalists from the same country found themselves at war with each other
  • How the commercial side of the Mundial influenced every aspect of the game
  • How Italy boss Enzo Bearzot pinned his hopes on Paolo Rossi, a player fans and the media had given up on, and was rewarded for trusting his instinct despite harsh criticism
  • How Brazil’s coach Telê Santana created ‘the Magic Square’ comprising four great talents: Zico, Sócrates, Cerezo and Falcão
  • How the twists and turns of this brilliant match were played out like a Hollywood script – the final twist transforming Italy’s supposedly old and washed-up goalkeeper, Dino Zoff, into a national hero

The author:

Piero Trellini is an award-winning Italian writer whose journalistic work has appeared in La Repubblica, La Stampa, Il Sole 24 ore, ll Messaggero and il Post. He has spent most of his life researching and reliving the Italy–Brazil match of 1982, collecting stories, anecdotes and memorabilia, including the referee’s whistle used that day. His book The Match won the 2020 Bancarella Sport Prize, the Mastercard Letteratura Prize, the Massarosa Jury Award, was named Book of the Year by TuttoSport and the book with the best narrative by Corriere della Sera.


Pitch Publishing
24 x 16 cm
512 pages
February 2023