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Italy national football team

From Academic Kids

Template:National football team The Italy national football team is one of the most successful national football teams, having won three World Cups. The traditional jersey color of the national team (as well as of all Italian teams and athletes, but in motor sports) is light blue (azzurro, in Italian), and therefore national team members are nicknamed Azzurri.

Contents

History

The first match of the Italian national football team was held in Milan, Italy on 15 May 1910, against France (a 6–2 victory for Azzurri). After avoiding the first World Cup (1930, in Uruguay), the Italian national team won two World Cups straight: 1934 edition, hosted by Italy, won beating Czechoslovakia 2–1 in Rome; 1938 edition, hosted by France, won beating Hungary 4–2 in Paris.

After World War II, Italian national team did not performed at its pre-war levels, reaching no more than the first round in 1950, 1954, 1962 and 1966 editions, and not even qualifying for the 1958 tournament. The match that has more significance, among those played in this period, is the 0–1 defeat against North Korea during the final stage of 1966 World Cup: Azzurri were defeated by the semi-professional North Korea football players and bitterly contested at their return home, while North Korean scorer Pak Do Ik was celebrated as David who killed Goliath.

In 1968, Azzurri won their first major competition since 1938 World Cup, defeating Yugoslavia in Rome for European Championship title: this is the only major competition final that was played two times, since after extra times (ended in drew, 1–1), rules required the match to be played again few days later, and this time Italy won 2–0. Two years later, Azzurri participated to 1970 edition of the World Cup, organized in Mexico; they managed to arrive at the final, where they were defeated by Brazil 4–1, but the semi-final match, won 4–3 after extra time against West Germany, is by far the most influential and celebrated in Italian football history. The fourth place reached in 1978 edition was an introduction to 1982 triumph: after low level qualifications and first round (they advanced over Cameroon because of more goals scored), an under-rated and press-bashed Italian team collected three impressive games against Argentina (defeated 2–1), Brazil (3–2), and Poland (2–0, semifinal), winning the title against West Germany (3–1); cup top scorer was Paolo Rossi, with six goals scored in the last three matches.

In the last fifteen years, Azzurri played an important role on world football scene, even not winning any trophy: virtually all their partecipations are somehow remarkable.

Italy hosted the World Cup in 1990, losing 4–3 semi-final match on penalties to Argentina after a 1–1 draw at the end of extra time; later, they defeated England 2–1 in the third place play-off, thus conceding only two goals in the whole tournament.

In 1994 World Cup edition, Italy tied the final match against Brazil 0–0 at the end of extra time, and lost the subsequent penalty shooutout. Also 1998 edition is marked by a penalty shootout, lost 4–3 in quarter-final against France.

The Italian participation to 2000 European Championship was followed with skeptisism, but Azzurri won an incredible semi-final against home team the Netherlands — Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo saved one penalty during the match and two during the shootout, Netherlands players missed one penalty during the match and one during the shootout – a success rate of one penalty scored on six tries — and lost the final 2–1 against France (golden goal), allowing les Bleus equalizing goal 30 seconds before the end of the match.

Italy failed in both 2002 World Cup and 2004 European Championship; in both cases, controversial episodes shifted the focus away from Azzurri's bad performance.

Italy also won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1936 and two Bronze Medals, in 1928 and 2004.

The Italian under-21 national team is one of the most successful of the world, having won five out of fourteen European Under 21 Championships (1990–92, 1992–94, 1994–96, 1998–2000 and 2002–2004 editions).

World Cup record

European Championship record

Coaches

Famous Players

External links


National football teams of Europe (UEFA)

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