• Saturday, 18 May 2024

Skopje hosts exhibition on life and career of Paolo Rossi and international football legends

Skopje hosts exhibition on life and career of Paolo Rossi and international football legends

Skopje, 8 April 2024 (MIA) - Unique sports memorabilia items including the 1982 Ballon d'Or and the cleats that Italy's Golden Boy Paolo Rossi wore when he scored the famous hat trick that knocked Brazil out of the World Cup, as well as items belonging to several other international football legends including Maradona, Pelé, Alfredo Di Stéfano are showcased at the exhibition which opened on Monday at the multimedia center of the National Gallery's Mala Stanica in Skopje.

The exhibition entitled "Paolo Rossi - A Golden Boy and Football Legends" comes to Skopje, following successful shows in Rome, Milan, Florence, Turin, Trento, Rimini, Bologna, Venice, Zurich, Belgrade and Tirana.

This exceptional international exhibition is organized by the Italian Embassy in North Macedonia, the Italian Institute of Culture in Belgrade, and the Macedonian Football Federation. It is dedicated to the hero of the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, won by Italy, as well as other famous champions around the world. Prime Minister Talat Xhaferi, Italian Ambassador Andrea Silvestri, Rossi's wife and president of the women's division of the Italian football federation (FIGC), Federica Cappelletti, as well as project coordinator Muharem Salihu attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Gianluca Zambrotta, Italian representative who took part in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when Italy won the tournament was also a guest at the event.

"Although sports and art may seem like completely different categories, what connects them is the very essence, i.e. the content with which they design and ennoble life. Sports and art are the two most universal languages. They allow us to express ourselves physically, emotionally, and intellectually, to connect and function with each other around the world, crossing borders, cultures, languages and generations," said National Gallery Director Dita Starova Qerimi.  

Exhibition Director Marco Schembri pointed out that for Italian people, football is not only passion but a way of life, and the exhibition is a way to learn more about Rossi's life and career from his beginnings all the way to his greatest victories. The exhibition, he added, is the only opportunity for football fans of all ages to see items such as Lionel Messi's jersey and the ball used in the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar.

Italian Ambassador Silvestri noted that Rossi has a special place in Italy's history because, with the victory of the World Cup in Spain, he united the nation with the "Azzurri" at a special time for the country after years of terrorism. He also highlighted the importance of diplomacy in sports and said this exhibition was a great way to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between North Macedonia and Italy, including the monograph that is available on the Embassy's website.

"Those 30 years of diplomatic relations are not only institutional, but reflect the true friendship between the people in which sports, football, play a big role. I know a lot of Macedonians have a favorite Italian team. There's Goran Pandev, who spent his entire football career in Italy, Elif Elmas, and Aleksandar Trajkovski," said Silvestri.

Rossi's wife Federica Cappelletti expressed her satisfaction with the opportunity to visit new countries with the travelling exhibition that aims to promote Rossi's values and principles as a role model for future generations - friendship, peace, and humanity.

The show chronologically displays photographs following the life and career of Paolo Rossi, through an innovative exhibit that aims to create a journey from the start of his career all the way to the legacy he left to the world of football. Visitors can view over 500 unique items, displayed at panels, stamps, banners, screens, boards, including his most important trophies: the 1982 Ballon d'Or presented by the French news magazine France Football, the 1982 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, the jersey he wore during the tournament, and the cleats he wore when he scored the famous hat trick that knocked Brazil out of the World Cup.

The exhibition also includes a VR project where visitors will be able to relive Rossi's three goals against Brazil from the stands of the old Sarrià Stadium in Barcelona.

Only at the exhibition in Skopje, visitors will be able to see the jersey worn by Lionel Messi at the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar, Argentina vs. France. 

Thanks to the FIFA Museum and some of the most important collectors in the world, a range of unique memorabilia items such as: jerseys, cleats, tracksuits, footballs, photographs, documents, trophies and medals belonging to the greatest legends of world football, including jerseys from all 47 Ballon d'Or winners since 1956, will also be available for viewing.

Visitors will also be able to see items belonging to Maradona, Pelé, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Sandro Mazzola, Giuseppe Meazza, Gerd Müller, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Ferenc Puskás, Lev Yashin, Radamel Falcao, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Neymar, Christiano Ronaldo, Lothar Matthäus, Hristo Stoichkov, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Dino Zoff, Luka Modrić, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappé, Andrea Pirlo, Francesco Totti, Gianluigi Buffon, Lionel Messi, Luís Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Marco van Basten, Franco Baresi, Roberto Baggio, Michel Platini, etc.

The exhibition runs through April 21, admission is free. ssh/nn/

Photo: MIA