ROME (Reuters) - Former Italy coach Azeglio Vicini, in charge of the team at the 1990 World Cup, has died at the age of 84, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on Wednesday.
Vicini coached Italy from 1986 and 1991 and led them to the semi-finals at both the 1988 European championship and the World Cup which they hosted two years later.
Italy’s bid to win the title on home soil ended when they were beaten on penalties by a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina following a 1-1 draw in a dramatic semi-final. They went on to beat England 2-1 in the third-place match.
“It was a national team which played with heart, passion and entertained the Italians,” said the FIGC.
He stepped down in 1991 after Italy surprisingly failed to qualify for Euro 1992 after finishing below the Soviet Union in their group.
Vicini coached Italian national teams at youth level for eleven years before taking charge of the senior side and only coached three club sides — Brescia, Cesena and Udinese.
His playing career took him to Vicenza, Sampdoria and, finally, Brescia.
The FIGC said that a minute’s silence would be held before Wednesday’s Coppa Italia match between AC Milan and Lazio and the weekend’s Serie A games.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Christian Radnedge