ROME — Azeglio Vicini, who coached Italy to a third-place finish as host of the 1990 World Cup, has died. He was 84.
The Italian soccer federation said Wednesday that Vicini died in his hometown of Brescia, without providing further details.
Vicini coached Italy from 1986-91 and also guided the Azzurri to the semifinals of the 1988 European Championship.
During the 1990 World Cup, Italy’s only loss was a penalty shootout defeat to Argentina and Diego Maradona in the semifinals.
"He was a man who was hugely important for my footballing life," said Salvatore "Toto" Schillaci, who won the Golden Shoe award at the 1990 World Cup with a tournament-high six goals.
"He made me known all around the world. He believed in me and if I am what I am, 80 per cent of the merit belongs to coach Vicini," Schillaci added. "I hope the football world remembers him like he deserves to be remembered. He was a coach from another era, a real professional, and the advice he gave me was fatherly."
The federation said that a moment of silence will be observed to mourn Vicini before Wednesday’s Italian Cup semifinal match between AC Milan and Lazio, and before all Serie A matches this weekend.
Vicini is survived by his wife and three children.