Bergomi had barely broken into the Inter team when, at 18 years old, he was a late call up to the 1982 World Cup squad.
In Spain the defender appeared three times including in the final where Italy beat West Germany 3-1.
Having marked Karl-Heinz Rummenigge out of the game, it was clear to fans outside of Milan they had a special talent.
Four years later the Azzurri, as holders, didn’t have to endure a qualifying campaign for Mexico ’86 and as host nation at the 1990 World Cup they again qualified automatically.
On home soil, Bergomi captained his national side to third place, but after a game against Denmark in 1991, it appeared his Italy career was over. New boss Arrigo Sacchi dropped him during his tenure as manager (1991-1996) and he wasn't seen on the international stage for another seven years.
In the meantime, he had had been building a collection of domestic honours to go with his World Cup winners medal.
The Coppa Italia and Serie A crowns were won in the 80s and three UEFA Cups followed between 1991 and 1998.
And it was in 1998 when Bergomi was a late and surprising addition to Cesare Maldini’s World Cup squad at the age of 34.
In total he played 81 times for Italy and retired in 1999 having spent his entire career at Inter where he made 756 appearances.
But it’s his World Cup record of 16 tournament games and zero qualifiers, which make him a favourite of pub quiz enthusiasts.