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It's today on 6 years ago... Our heroes won World Cup final match on penalties (5-3) against France after 120 minutes stressful moments of football ended 1-1.
It's for sure all Italy lovers remember that crazy night very well.
A soon penalty by Zidane, an equalizer from Materazzi, Buffon's scream in overtime against Zidane, Trezeguet's missed penalty, Grosso's winning strike and finally captain Cannavaro's lifting the World Cup for Italy.
let's check some of best shots of final and refresh our memories...

Patrick Tehrani

Published in News
Friday, 01 June 2012 18:24

World Cup 2006

Published in Gallery
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:52

Italy - Germany (World Cup 82 - final)

Italians triumph in heavyweight rumble

Under a bright blue Spanish sky, the two best teams in the 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain™ - Italy and West Germany - played out a highly anticipated final and few of the millions to see the match came away disappointed. A second half outburst by the Italians saw them lift their first FIFA World Cup trophy since 1938, while the Germans would have to wait until Italy 90 to complete their trio of world championships.
Both sides boasted a plethora of talent in their ranks: Zoff, Bergomi, Gentile, Tardelli and a certain Paolo Rossi on the one side; Briegel, Breitner, Forster, Littbarski and Rummenigge on the other. Ninety thrilling, spectacular minutes of football beckoned.

Right from the start

The Squadra Azzura kicked off and immediately sought to impose their pace on the game. But their German opponents, coached by Jupp Derwall, created the first chance with only two minutes on the clock. Littbarski broke down the left and steered a diagonal pass to Klaus Fischer, who found Littbarski again with the return. The winger known as 'Litti' fired goalwards, but Italian goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff gathered easily enough.
German captain Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was in the thick of the action just a few minutes later, as he wriggled past Bergomi and Cabrini in the penalty area and drove in a shot on the turn, only to see the ball fly narrowly wide of Zoff's goal.
With five minutes on the clock, the Italian bench rose to their feet after a collision in midfield between Wolfgang Dremmler and Francesco Graziani. Graziani went down after a hefty shoulder-charge from the German strongman, and was unlucky to land on his right shoulder. Brazilian referee Arnaldo Coelho waved play on, and Germany put together a move down the left with the Italian striker still prone on the half-way line, his face etched with pain.
Graziani eventually pulled himself to his feet and struggled on for a couple of minutes, but he was obviously in trouble and Allesandro Altobelli came on for the injured front-man after just seven minutes.

Deadlock

After the furious opening exchanges, the game now settled, Germany trying their luck down the right a couple of times. But Littbarski and Rummenigge were unable to find a way past the Italian defence, expertly marshalled by Giuseppe Bergomi.
A quarter of an hour passed with neither side able to break the deadlock, the teams increasingly cancelling each other out in midfield and little of note taking place in front of goal. There was a nervous moment for German keeper Harald 'Toni' Schumacher in the 23rd minute, as Bernd Förster's attempted clearance whistled just over his own bar for a corner. Bruno Conti floated the set-piece over from the left, but the German defence stood firm.
Then Italy broke down the left. Altobelli centred into the box towards Conti, who was being closely marked by Briegel. Conti went down under Briegel's challenge, and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The German players surrounded Mr Coelho, protesting the defender's innocence, but the penalty award stood.
Schumacher and Antonio Cabrini faced up - the German netminder visibly less tense than his opponent. Cabrini began his run-up, shot - and drove the ball just wide of the right-hand upright. Italy had spurned the opportunity to take the lead.
The first booking of an otherwise fair game up to this point went to Bruno Conti on 31 minutes, after a foul on Karl-Heinz Förster. This and the penalty miss were among the few incidents worthy of note in an otherwise fairly disappointing first half.
Both sides would need to show more adventure if they wanted to claim the FIFA World Cup trophy at the end of the game. The half-time whistle gave Italy coach Enzo Bearzot and his German counterpart Jupp Derwall 15 minutes to review their tactics for the remainder of the contest.

Proving who's boss

The second period opened with Rummenigge and Kaltz driving their side deep into the Italian half, seeking to up the attacking tempo. But all that resulted was a harmless free-kick from 20 metres, and gradually the Italian midfield took control of proceedings. Jupp Derwall's men sought to counter their opponents' technical superiority with physical strength, but the Squadra Azurra was not be to knocked out of its stride so easily. Building from the back, the Italians' neat short passing game spelled mounting danger for the German defence.
In the 57th minute, with the match becoming a shade scrappier, Stielike brought down Conti out on the left. The German defence was unable to clear the resulting free-kick far enough away from their own penalty area, and Conti took possession some 30 metres from goal.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge upended the striker from behind, and the referee awarded another free-kick. With the Germans still contesting the decision, Marco Tardelli took the award quickly, finding Claudio Gentile unmarked out on the right. Gentile crossed from the edge of the box, and although Alessandro Altobelli was unable to reach it, the moment had arrived for Paulo Rossi to demonstrate why he had earned a reputation as one of the best Italian strikers of all time. Arriving in exactly the right place at just the right time, he buried his header to put Italy 1-0 up. Again the Germans complained, this time for offside, but the goal stood and Italy were in front.

Germans open themselves up

Germany now had to attack to stay in with a chance of victory. Stielike urged his side forward, increasingly joining in his side's attacking moves. But much as Fischer, Rummenigge and Littbarski strove to create openings around the Italian area, the defence held firm and did enough to stifle the Germans' efforts.
Jupp Derwall had to react, and did so in the 62nd minute, bringing on a further striker in the shape of Horst Hrubesch, thus adding height and heading ability to the search for an equaliser. Hrubesch was in the thick of the action just a few minutes later, as his Hamburg team mate Manfred Kaltz drove over one of his famed outswinging crosses. The towering centre forward rose in front of Zoff, but was unable to direct his header.
The pace of the game had increased since Rossi's strike. On 69 minutes, Gaetano Scirea initiated another swift break from inside his own half of the field. On half way, he switched play to the right, where Altobelli joined in the move, advancing to the edge of the area before deceiving Briegel with a neat body-swerve. Rossi then picked up the ball, before glancing to his right and directing a low cross towards the onrushing Scirea. Scirea chose not to shoot, preferring a back-heel to Rossi, who had worked his way free inside the German penalty area. Rossi delivered a short lay-off, which Scirea picked up again, setting up Marco Tardelli 17 metres out in a central position. As he fell, Tardelli drove home into the bottom right corner, catching Toni Schumacher off balance and doubling Italy's lead in an instant.
In the VIP seats, even Italian head of state Alessandro Pertini, seated next to King Juan Carlos of Spain, jumped to his feet with delight. The second goal had the feel of a decider.

Italy have the fight

With only 20 minutes remaining, Germany now had to score twice to force the game into extra-time. Derwall made a further change, replacing his exhausted captain Rummenigge with the fresh legs of Hansi Müller in a last desperate throw of the dice. An element of niggle crept into the play, and Stielike was lucky to escape with only a yellow card after jostling the referee in the 73rd minute.
Germany badly needed a goal to get back into the game, but their attacking efforts were becoming increasingly desperate and devoid of shape. High punts into the box and speculative long-range drives were not enough to drag the two-times world champions back into the Final on the day.
Then, on 81 minutes, Italy put the result beyond doubt. Bruno Conti set off from his own half in the direction of the German goal. With the defence pushed up, Conti had all the time in the world to pick out Allesandro Altobelli, who had escaped his marker 11 metres from goal. Schumacher came rushing out, but Altobelli slipped the ball past him and over the line for Italy's third. The game was as good as over, with Italy nine minutes away from claiming a third FIFA World Cup title.
The final score was 3-1, with Paul Breitner scoring Germany's consolation goal seven minutes from time. But Breitner's reaction spoke volumes about the mood in the German camp: no celebration and not even a smile, just the resigned look of a man who knew his side never had it in them to threaten his opponents' grip on the match.
Perhaps their extraordinary semi-final with France had taken too much out of the Mannschaft. Or maybe Italy were simply too good on the evening. One thing was certain: the technically gifted southern European side were worthy world champions at Spain 1982.

www.fifa.com

Published in Historical Matches

Italy wreck German fairy tale

It only takes place every four years, and even then it only lasts for four weeks, but for football fans across the globe, the FIFA World Cup™ is the ultimate the sport has to offer. Everything else takes a back seat when the world's finest national teams come together in search of their champion, in a truly global showdown.
A wave of passion and enthusiasm sweeps the host nation when the show comes to town, and plenty of local fans dream of cheering their heroes all the way to a FIFA World Cup triumph on home soil. In 2006, Germany were poised to make the dream a reality. A hitherto unseen avalanche of euphoria and pride swept the nation, epitomised by the joyfully memorable fan fests and public viewing events, as the home team won over even their most obdurate doubters with a string of courageous displays. The phenomenon was dubbed the "summer fairytale" – a documentary film by the same name drew vast numbers to cinema box offices later in the year – and for a time, the fable looked likely to have a happy ending.
The Germans met Italy on 4 July 2006 in Dortmund, just a game away from their second consecutive appearance in the FIFA World Cup Final. But it was not to be, as the hosts exited the tournament at the hands of the eventual winners in dramatic fashion. All-time great Franz Beckenbauer later described it as the match of the tournament.

The stakes

Germany comfortably won Group A with victories over Costa Rica (4-2), Poland (1-0) and Ecuador (3-0). Neither last 16 opponents Sweden, who were beaten 2-0 in Munich, nor quarter-final foes Argentina proved able to stop the home juggernaut, although the last eight meeting in Berlin went to a penalty shoot-out, which the hosts won 4-2.
For their part, the Azzurri finished first in Group E. After victories over Czech Republic (3-0) and Ghana (2-0), coach Marcello Lippi's men sealed top spot with a 1-1 draw against the USA. In the Round of 16 and quarter-finals, the Italians fell back on their famed defensive nous with a 1-0 win over Australia and a 3-0 victory against Ukraine to seal a semi-final berth, where they arrived on the back of conceding just once in five games.

The story

The vast majority of the 65,000 full house at the FIFA World Cup Stadium Dortmund looked to history for reassurance: Germany had never lost a competitive fixture at the stadium known locally as the national team's 'living room'. The hosts ran up their 1-0 group stage victory over Poland at the same ground.
The Dortmund crowd did their utmost to propel their heroes towards the Final with a deafening cacophony of noise, but the Italians seized the initiative from the start. Germany keeper Jens Lehmann was forced into a sweeper role on a number of occasions as the Azzurri's pace threatened to take them beyond the German defence. Once the initial storm had blown itself out, the contest settled into an absorbing end-to-end affair.
For Italy, Andrea Pirlo played a starring role with a classic playmaker's blend of subtle promptings and moments of inspiration, collecting the ball on the edge of his own box, advancing 30 yards and then picking out deceptively mobile centre-forward Luca Toni with a series of pinpoint passes.
However, Germany showed they had not reached the last four by accident. The only semi-finalists to start with two men up front, Lukas Podolski and FIFA World Cup leading scorer Miroslav Klose alternately darted and battered away at the Italian rearguard. However, the Squadra Azzurra defence held firm, superbly marshalled by FIFA World Player of the Year and team captain Fabio Cannavaro, whose reading of the play and almost uncanny ability to second guess his opponents' scheming meant keeper Gianluigi Buffon was seldom called into serious action.
Having exhausted the creative option, the host nation opted for force. Midway through the second half, Germany summoned up enormous reserves of strength and determination in an effort to break the deadlock. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann brought on fresh legs in the shape of Bastian Schweinsteiger and David Odonkor, but the 90 minutes ended goalless and the game went into extra time.
Having already made a like-for-like swap by replacing Toni with Alberto Gilardino, Lippi opted to gamble. The introduction of Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alessandro del Piero gave Italy a three-man forward line. "We had more arrows in our quiver," the coach said afterwards. The move paid off, but not until the dying minutes.
The Germans created a handful of chances in a dramatic period of extra time, but the Italians had much the better of the overall play. And then it happened: on 119 minutes, just as the teams appeared to have settled for penalties, the Mannschaft failed to clear their lines after a corner, Pirlo picked out the unmarked Fabio Grosso, and the fullback planted a curling left-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net. Just a minute later, and with the entire Germany defence committed to attack, Del Piero made it 2-0 and sealed his side's passage to the Final.

What they said

"The team's very, very disappointed and despondent. We'll need time to swallow the bitter pill of defeat and come to terms with it. But I've told my team they can be incredibly proud of themselves." Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann
"It's extremely gratifying, because we deserved to win. It's quite simple: we dominated the game for long spells." Italy coach Marcello Lippi.
"We're devastated about losing so close to the end. It's hard to find an explanation. The teams were evenly-matched, and we created decent chances of our own, which we should have put away." Germany defender Philipp Lahm
"I started to think about penalties from the beginning of the second half." Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon

What happened next...

Four days after the devastating semi-final defeat, the smiles returned to the German fans and players' faces. The host nation beat Portugal 3-1 in Stuttgart to claim a creditable third place, and also ensure a worthy send-off for Oliver Kahn. The three-time World Goalkeeper of the Year was demoted to number two behind Lehmann shortly before the tournament, and called time on his international career following the emotional victory over the Portuguese.
The Italians ultimately made it seven games undefeated in the tournament as a whole, beating France 5-3 on penalties in the Final following a 1-1 draw after extra time to lift the FIFA World Cup Trophy for the fourth time.

www.fifa.com

Published in Historical Matches

Azzurri rally to edge Czechs to gold

Redressing the balance after South America's finest had dominated the inaugural FIFA World Cup™ in Uruguay, European teams had the upper hand at Italy 1934. All eight quarter-finalists, indeed, hailed from the old continent.
The backdrop to the tournament was a complex one. Just as Adolf Hitler was to do at the Berlin Olympics two years later, Italy's dictator Benito Mussolini used the event for propaganda purposes, attempting to extol the virtues of his fascist state. Il Duce's hopes for an Italy-West Germany Final were thwarted by Czechoslovakia, who beat the Germans to set up a showdown against the host nation at Rome's Stadio Nazionale del Partito Nazionale Fascista, since renamed the Stadio Flaminio. FIFA.com recreates the events of 10 June 1934, when Gli Azzurri survived a real scare from the Czechs to lift the Trophy for the first time.

The stakes

Getting their own back on Italy for refusing to take part in the first FIFA World Cup four years earlier, holders Uruguay decided to stay at home, as did England once again. Brazil sent over a third-string side, although it did feature the talented Leonidas da Silva, while Argentina fielded an amateur squad. In all, 16 teams contested the tournament - 12 of them from Europe - with A Seleção, La Albiceleste, USA and Egypt making up the rest of the field. All the games were knockout matches.
The Italy side featured several naturalised South American players, including the Argentinian duo of Luis Monti and Raimundo Orsi. The former was a redoubtable defender; the latter a skilled forward. Together they would provide the foundations for the hosts' success.
La Nazionale thrashed USA 7-1 in the first round but had to work considerably harder to dispose of Spain in the quarter-finals, drawing 1-1 and then edging through 1-0 in the replay. They repeated that scoreline in a high-quality semi-final against Austria's Wunderteam, which featured the brilliant Matthias Sindelar.
Meanwhile, a well-balanced Czechoslovakia outfit spearheaded by the lethal Oldrich Nejedly made solid progress, overcoming Romania 2-1 in the opening round and Switzerland 3-2 in the last eight, before dashing German hopes with a 3-1 win in the semis. Nejedly ended the tournament as leading scorer with five goals.

The story

The Final took place in stifling heat, with temperatures soaring above 40ºC. Making light of the conditions, Italy started brightly, pushing Czechoslovakia back into their own half but failing to make a first-half breakthrough. The main reason for that was the superb form of goalkeeper Frantisek Planicka, who pulled off excellent stops to deny Giuseppe Meazza and Giovanni Ferrari. Nevertheless, the Czechs should have fallen behind when Angelo Schiavio found himself in front of an empty net only to shoot over.
After pursuing the same high-tempo pressing game at the start of the second half, the hosts began to run out of steam. On the hour mark the advancing Antonin Puc was flattened by Attilio Ferraris' barely-legal challenge, an indication of Italy's growing discomfort. Then, with only 19 minutes remaining, the unthinkable happened. Making a rapid recovery, Puc ran on to Stefan Cambal's pass, shook off Eraldo Monzeglio and beat Giampiero Combi with a cross-shot. The 55,000 crowd greeted the goal with silence.
In the minutes that followed Italy continued to totter. Jiri Sobotka had the chance to kill the game off but shot wide from ten yards out, with Frantisek Svoboda then blasting over when well placed. As grumbles of discontent began to echo around the stadium, Orsi came to Italy's rescue. Breaking down the wing, he sent in a cross that Ladislav Zenisek only half-cleared. Seizing on the loose ball, Orsi fired the equaliser past Planicka to the relief of the home fans.
Falling back into defence in the closing minutes, Karel Petru's men clung on gamely to force extra time. Within five minutes of the restart, however, Italy were in front. Schiavio was the hero of the hour, latching on to Enrique Guaita's cross to steer the ball home and clinch the Trophy.

The star

Making a late tactical switch, Italy coach Vittorio Pozzo pushed Schiavio into the centre-forward position to allow Meazza to drop into a withdrawn role, one in which he felt more comfortable. The change worked to perfection, with the former snaffling Italy's winner. A one-club man, Schiavio ran out for his hometown Bologna for 16 seasons, scoring 247 goals in 337 matches before retiring in 1938.
A bronze-medal winner at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, Schiavio was never an undisputed first-choice for his country, though he still managed to rack up 15 goals in 21 appearances between 1925 and 1934. The last of those goals was his winner against Czechoslovakia. He later coached Italy in two different spells: from 1953 to 1956 and from 1957 to 1958.
Along with Mario Pizziolo, Schiavio was one of the last surviving members of that FIFA World Cup-winning team. The duo died within days of each other in April 1990, just a few short weeks before the country staged the tournament for the second time in its history.

What they said

"Our success is a reward for hard work, moral steadfastness, a spirit of self-sacrifice and the unshakeable desire of a group of men," Italy coach Vittorio Pozzo.
"I was exhausted when I scored the winning goal, so I lay down on the grass for a few moments to get my breath back. It was my last match for the national side and football changed completely after that. At that time nobody knew what tactics were. What mattered were your legs and your heart," Italy forward Angelo Schiavio.
"Even though we lost, we returned home as heroes. We travelled back by train and there were thousands of fans applauding us at every station," Czechoslovakia goalkeeper Frantisek Planicka.

What happened next

Having drawn on their pride and motivation to win the day in 1934, Italy would add individual trickery to their arsenal with the emergence of young talents such as Giovanni Ferrari and Silvio Piola, both of whom would shine in France four years later.
Only a few months after being crowned world champions, Italy took on England in a memorable encounter at Highbury. Though the English press had predicted a thumping victory, the home side eventually scraped home 3-2 against a team that played virtually the entire game with ten men after Monti went off injured early on.
Gli Azzurri would not lose another game en route to successfully defending their title at France 1938, underlining their superiority in the meantime by winning the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Berlin 1936.

www.fifa.com

Published in Historical Matches
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 09:15

Italy - Hungary (World Cup 1938 - Final)

Double joy for Pozzo's Italy

Four years on from becoming kings of the sport on home soil, Italy mounted a commanding defence of their crown at the 1938 FIFA World Cup France™. Though Brazil, spearheaded by Leonidas, had emerged as a force to be reckoned with, it was a tournament dominated once more by European teams.
With FIFA having yet to introduce the rule preventing the same continent from hosting consecutive FIFA World Cups, France beat off the challenge of Argentina to be named hosts in August 1936. The decision was made in tribute to the work of Jules Rimet, 33 years the FIFA President and the competition's founding father.
Unlike Uruguay and Italy before them, the French fell short in their bid to win the Trophy in front of their own fans, with Gli Azzurri beating them in the last eight en route to a date with Hungary in the Final. FIFA.com relives the events that led up to the decider and the match itself, played out in front of a 45,000 crowd at the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, situated in the Parisian suburb of Colombes.

 

The stakes

Thirty-six sides entered the qualifying competition, although only 26 of them actually took part in it. Among the absentees were Spain, embroiled in a civil war; England, who were still refusing to take part in the event; and Argentina and Uruguay, both of whom pulled out for differing reasons. For the first time, both the hosts and the holders qualified automatically for the tournament.
A total of 14 other countries earned the right to join them in France, 12 of them European teams. Absorbed by the Anschluss, Austria pulled out before the competition kicked off, however, with their best players representing Germany instead. Brazil were the only South American side on show, while Cuba represented what is now the CONCACAF Zone. Completing the field were Dutch East Indies (modern-day Indonesia), the first Asians to participate in the world finals.
Vittorio Pozzo's Italy side were the big favourites. The defending world champions had won Olympic gold in Berlin two years previously and arrived in France unbeaten in 18 matches. A tightly knit and accomplished side, they also had the inspiration of the legendary trio formed by Giovanni Ferrari, Giuseppe Meazza and Silvio Piola to draw on.
Though they began slowly, labouring to a 2-1 win over Norway in extra time, La Nazionale hit their stride against quarter-final opponents France, Piola scoring two second-half goals in a 3-1 victory. A 2-1 defeat of Brazil then took them through to the Final.
Hungary were no less impressive. Opening up with a 6-0 rout of Dutch East Indies, Alfred Schaffer's side scored two goals without reply to end the challenge of Switzerland, who had knocked out the Germans in Round 1. That was the prelude to a magnificent 5-1 demolition of Sweden in the semis, a result that took their goal haul to 13 in only three games.

The story

The tournament showpiece provided a sharp contrast between Hungary's technical and elegantly precise brand of football and Italy's faster and more direct style, one that depended heavily on their individual gifts. Expressing their distaste of Benito Mussolini's regime and the straight-arm salutes of the Italy players, the Parisian crowd gave their wholehearted support to the Hungarians. Undeterred, the wily Pozzo used their hostility to spur on his players, who began the game at a typically sprightly pace.
Gli Azzurri were rewarded for their early domination when, after only six minutes, Gino Colaussi took advantage of some negligent Hungarian defending to put them ahead. Though Pal Titkos pulled the Magyars level almost immediately, Italy's superiority gradually began to tell. With Meazza directing operations, the holders snuffed out what little threat the Hungarians continued to pose up front and showed their own potency in front of goal. Further strikes from Piola and Colaussi gave them a commanding 3-1 lead at the interval, by which time they had even managed to win over the crowd with their all-action play.
As Italy eased off in the second half, Hungary managed to cut the deficit with 20 minutes remaining, the goal coming from the great Ferencvaros forward Gyorgy Sarosi, the scorer of an improbable 351 goals in 382 matches. The men in blue were not to be denied, however, and Piola rounded off the afternoon's scoring with his second eight minutes from time. Villains at the start of the day, the victorious Italians lifted the Trophy to popular acclaim, their status as worthy champions contested by no-one.

The star

The scorer of 364 career goals, well clear of Giuseppe Meazza's 338, Silvio Piola is the most prolific Italian marksman in history. No fewer than 274 of those goals came in Serie A, and a further 30 in 34 international appearances. Although Brazil's Leonidas was the top scorer at France 1938 with seven goals, the Lazio legend was his team's deadliest finisher, hitting five goals in total, all of them decisive.
The first was an extra-time winner against Norway in Round 1. In the quarter-finals, he scored two more as Italy quashed France's hopes, before popping up in the Final with another brace, one of them a classy volley.
Piola retired from international football at the age of 38. By the end of his lengthy club career, which stretched over 24 seasons, he had chalked up 537 games, a tally only bettered by Dino Zoff and Paolo Maldini. He died on 4 October 1996.

What they said

"They win everything, these blessed Italians," France President Albert Lebrun.
"I may have let in four goals, but at least I saved the lives of 11 men," Hungary goalkeeper Antal Szabo refers to the telegram Mussolini sent to the Italy team before the Final, which contained the words 'Win or die'.

What happened next

With the second world war breaking out in 1939, it world be 12 long years before the next FIFA World Cup was staged. The 1942 competition had been scheduled to take place in Brazil or Germany, and when the tournament returned in 1950 it was the South American country that earned the right to stage it. By then, however, much would change for the two 1938 finalists. Italy failed to advance beyond the group phase, while the Hungarians did not even qualify.

www.fifa.com

Published in Historical Matches