Italy national football team
|Nickname(s)||Gli Azzurri (The Blues)|
|Association||Italian Football Federation|
|Head coach||Antonio Conte|
|Most caps||Gianluigi Buffon (150)|
|Top scorer||Luigi Riva (35)|
|Current||17 1 (1 October 2015)|
|Highest||1 (November 1993, February 2007, April–June 2007, September 2007)|
|Lowest||17 (July 2015, October 2015)|
|Current||13 (6 July 2015)|
|Highest||1 (June 1934 – March 1940, December 1940 – November 1945, July–August 2006)|
|Lowest||21 (November 1959)|
| Italy 6–2 France
(Milan, Italy; 15 May 1910)
| Italy 9–0 United States
(Brentford, England; 2 August 1948)
| Hungary 7–1 Italy
(Budapest, Hungary; 6 April 1924)
|Appearances||18 (First in 1934)|
|Best result||Champions, 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006|
|Appearances||8 (First in 1968)|
|Best result||Champions, 1968|
|Appearances||2 (First in 2009)|
|Best result||Third place, 2013|
The Italian national football team (Italian: Nazionale di calcio dell'Italia) represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is one of the most successful national teams in the history of the World Cup, having won 4 titles (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) and appearing in two finals (1970, 1994), reaching a third place (1990) and a fourth place (1978). In 1938 they became the only team to successfully defended their previous World Cup tournament victory and due to the outbreak of World War II retained the title for a record 16 years. They have also won a European championship (1968), as well as appearing in two other finals (2000, 2012), one Olympic football tournament (1936) and two Central European International Cups. Italy's highest finish at the Confederations Cup was in 2013, when the squad achieved a third-place finish.
The national football team is known as Gli Azzurri from the traditional color of Italian national teams and athletes representing Italy. In its first two matches, the Italian national team wore white shirts with shorts from the club of each player; the azure shirts were introduced in the third match; (azzurro, in Italian) comes from the "Azzurro Savoia" (Savoy Blue), the colour traditionally linked to the royal dynasty which unified Italy in 1861, and maintained in the official standard of the Italian President.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Origins and first two World Cups (1910–1938)
- 1.2 Post-World War II (1946–1966)
- 1.3 European champions and World Cup runners-up (1968–1976)
- 1.4 Bearzot Era and the third World Cup (1978–1986)
- 1.5 World Cup and European Championship runners-up (1988–2004)
- 1.6 World Cup winners for the fourth time (2006 World Cup)
- 1.7 Post World Cup and Lippi's return (2006–2010)
- 1.8 Prandelli Era: European Championship runners-up (2010–2014)
- 1.9 Conte Era (2014–)
- 2 Competitive record
- 3 Kit
- 4 Honours
- 5 Coaches
- 6 Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
- 7 Players
- 8 Head to head records
- 9 Media coverage
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Titles
- 13 External links
Origins and first two World Cups (1910–1938)
The team's first match was held in Milan on 15 May 1910, Italy defeated France by a score of 6–2. Some turmoil kept the players of Pro Vercelli who were the best team of the league, out of the game. At the end of the match, the players received some cigarette packets thrown by the 4,000 spectators as a prize. The Italian team played with a (2–3–5) system and consisted of: De Simoni; Varisco, Calì; Trerè, Fossati, Capello; Debernardi, Rizzi, Cevenini I, Lana, Boiocchi. First captain of the team was Francesco Calì.
The first success in an official tournament came with the bronze medal in 1928 Summer Olympics, held in Amsterdam. After losing the semi-final against Uruguay, an 11–3 victory against Egypt secured third place in the competition.
After declining to participate in the first World Cup (1930, in Uruguay) the Italian national team won two consecutive editions of the tournament in 1934 and 1938, under the direction of coach Vittorio Pozzo and thanks to the genius of Giuseppe Meazza, who is considered one of the best Italian football players of all time. Other stars of that era included Luis Monti, Giovanni Ferrari, Giuseppe Ruffino and Virginio Rosetta the host Azzurri defeated Czechoslovakia 2–1 in Rome, with goals by Raimundo Orsi and Angelo Schiavio.
Post-World War II (1946–1966)
The deaths in 1949 of the players of Torino (the winners of the previous five Serie A titles) in the Superga air disaster saw the loss of ten out of the eleven constituting the initial line-up for the national team. The following year, Italy did not advance further than the first round of the 1950 World Cup, partly due to the long and physically demanding boat trip to Brazil (air travel was discarded due to fear of another accident).
In the World Cup finals of 1954 and the 1962 that followed, Italy failed to progress past the first round, and did not qualify for the 1958 World Cup. During the early 1960s, while the Italian football clubs Milan and Internazionale dominated the international scene, the National team was not able to match these results. Italy did not take part in the first edition of the European Championship in 1960 (then known as the European Nations Cup), and was knocked out by the USSR in the round of 16 (second round) of the 1964 European Championship.
Their participation in the 1966 World Cup is always remembered for their 0–1 defeat at the hands of North Korea. Despite being the tournament favourites, the Azzurri, whose 1966 squad included Rivera and Bulgarelli, were eliminated in the first round by the semi-professional North Koreans and bitterly condemned upon their return home, while North Korean scorer Pak Doo-Ik was celebrated as the David who killed Goliath.
European champions and World Cup runners-up (1968–1976)
In 1968, the Azzurri won their first major competition since the 1938 World Cup, beating Yugoslavia in Rome for the European Championship title. The match holds the distinction of being the only major football tournament final to go to a replay. After extra time it ended in a 1–1 draw, and in the days before penalty shootouts, the rules required the match to be replayed a few days later. Italy won the replay 2–0 (with goals from Riva and Anastasi) to take the trophy.
In 1970, Italian team was one of the favourites for the title. Exploiting the performances of European champions' players like Giacinto Facchetti, Rivera and Riva and with a new center-forward Roberto Boninsegna, the Azzurri were able to came back to a world cup final match after 32 years of desolation. They reached this result after one of the most famous match in football history: Italy vs. West Germany 4–3, which is known as the "Game of the Century". Although they were defeated by the amazing Brazilians, the 1970 team is still recognized as one of the best Italian national teams. The "Mexican generation" ended its cycle of international successes in the 1974 World cup, being eliminated by Lato's Polish team in the first round.
Bearzot Era and the third World Cup (1978–1986)
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, held in Argentina, saw a new generation of Italian players, the most famous being Paolo Rossi, coming to the international stage. Italy played very well in the first round, being the only team in the tournament to beat the eventual champions and host team Argentina. Second round games against West Germany (0–0), Austria (1–0) and Netherlands (1–2) led Italy to the third place final, where it was defeated by Brazil 2–1. As in the match against the Netherlands, Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff was beaten by a long-distance shot and thus blamed as the main culprit for the defeat. Italy then hosted the 1980 UEFA European Football Championship, the first edition to be held between eight teams instead of four, and with the host team automatically qualified for the finals. Italy was beaten by Czechoslovakia in the third place match on penalties after two draws with Spain and Belgium and a narrow 1–0 win over England.
After a scandal in Serie A where some National Team players such as Paolo Rossi were prosecuted and suspended for match fixing and illegal betting, the Azzurri arrived at the 1982 FIFA World Cup amidst general scepticism and discomfort. Italy qualified for the second round after three uninspiring draws against Poland, Peru and Cameroon. Having been loudly criticized, the Italian team decided on a press black-out from then on, with only coach Enzo Bearzot and captain Dino Zoff appointed to speak to the press.
Italy's strength finally showed in the second round group, a true Group of death with Argentina and Brazil – the defending champions and the team favoured to dethrone them. In the opener, Italy prevailed 2–1 over Diego Maradona's side after an ill-tempered battle in which Italy's defenders and midfielders proved their mastery in the rougher side of the game. Italy's goals, both left-footed strikes, were scored by Marco Tardelli and Antonio Cabrini. After Brazil defeated Argentina 3–1, Italy needed to win in order to advance to the semi-finals. Twice Italy went in the lead with Paolo Rossi goals, and twice Brazil came back. When Paulo Roberto Falcão scored to make it 2–2 Brazil would have been through on goal difference; but in the 74th minute Rossi scored the winning goal in a crowded penalty area to send Italy to the semifinals after one of the all-time greatest games in World Cup history. In the wake of its second round performance, Italy easily dispatched Poland in the first semi-final with another two goals from Rossi.
In the final match, Italy met West Germany, who had advanced thanks to a penalty shootout victory against France. The first half ended scoreless, after Cabrini missed a penalty awarded for a Hans-Peter Briegel foul on Bruno Conti. In the second half Paolo Rossi again scored the first goal, and while the Germans were pushing forward in search of an equaliser, Tardelli and substitute Alessandro Altobelli finalised two contropiede counterattacks to make it 3–0. Paul Breitner scored home West Germany's consolation goal seven minutes from the end, making him the second man after Pelé to score in two non-consecutive World Cup final matches.
Tardelli's scream after his goal in the final is still remembered as the symbol of Italy's 1982 World Cup triumph. Paolo Rossi won the Golden Boot with six goals, and 40-year-old captain-goalkeeper Dino Zoff became the oldest-ever player to win the World Cup.
For twenty-four years following the 1982 triumph, the Azzurri figured prominently on the world stage but did not win another tournament. Italy failed to qualify for the 1984 European Championship and were knocked out in the Round of 16 of the 1986 FIFA World Cup by France 2–0.
World Cup and European Championship runners-up (1988–2004)
Italy hosted the World Cup for the second time in 1990. The Italian attack featured talented forwards Salvatore Schillaci and a young Roberto Baggio. Despite being favourites to win and not conceding a goal in their first five matches, Italy lost in the semi-final to defending champion Argentina, losing 4–3 on penalty kicks following a 1–1 draw after extra time, Schillaci's first half opener having been equalised in the second half by Claudio Caniggia's header for Argentina. Aldo Serena missed the final penalty kick (with Roberto Donadoni also having his penalty saved by goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea). Italy went on to defeat England 2–1 in the third place match, with Schillaci scoring the winning goal on a penalty to become the tournament's top scorer with 6 goals. Italy then failed to qualify for the 1992 European Championship.
At the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Italy started very slowly but reached the final. They lost the opening match against Ireland 0–1 in New York City, this being the only match Italy would lose (not counting games lost after shootout) over the span of three World Cup finals from 1990 to 1998 and one only of five games they have lost in regular time since 1988 in either a Euro or World Cup. After a gritty 1–0 win against Norway in New York City and a 1–1 draw with Mexico in Washington, D.C., Italy advanced from Group E based on goals scored among the four teams tied on points. During their Round of 16 match in Boston, Italy was down 0–1 late against Nigeria, but Roberto Baggio, ultimately the player who was mostly responsible for getting the Italian squad as far as they got, came to the rescue with a splendid equalizer in the 88th minute and a penalty in extra time to snatch the win. Baggio scored another late goal against Spain at their quarter-final match in Boston to seal a 2–1 win and two beautifully taken goals against Bulgaria in their semi-final match in New York City for another 2–1 win. In the final, which took place in Los Angeles's Rose Bowl stadium 2,500 miles (4,000 km) and 3 time zones away from the Atlantic Northeast part of the United States where they had played all their matches, Italy, who had 24 hours less rest than Brazil, played 120 minutes of scoreless football, taking the match to a penalty shootout. Italy lost the subsequent shootout 3–2 after Baggio, who had been playing with the aid of a pain-killing injection and a heavily bandaged hamstring, missed the final penalty kick of the match, shooting over the crossbar.
Italy did not progress beyond the group stage at the finals of Euro 96. Having defeated Russia 2–1 but lost to the Czech Republic by the same score, Italy required a win to be sure of progressing. Gianfranco Zola failed to convert a decisive penalty in a 0–0 draw against Germany, who eventually won the tournament [playing in the finals repeat of the group stage opening game between Germany and Czech Republic]. Then, during the qualifying campaign for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the Azzurri beat England at Wembley for the second time with Zola scoring the only goal. In the final tournament, Italy found themselves in another critical shootout for the third World Cup in a row. The Italian side, where Del Piero and Baggio renewed the controversial staffetta (relay) between Mazzola and Rivera from 1970, held the eventual World Champions and host team France to a 0–0 draw after extra time in the quarterfinals, but lost 4–3 in the shootout. With two goals scored in this tournament, Roberto Baggio is still the only Italian player to have scored in three different FIFA World Cup editions.
In the Euro 2000, another shootout decided Italy's fate but this time in their favour when defeating the co-hosts the Netherlands in the semi-final. Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo saved one penalty during the match and two in the shootout, while the Dutch players missed one other penalty during the match and one during the shootout with a rate of one penalty scored out of six attempts. Emerging star Francesco Totti scored his penalty with a cucchiaio (spoon) chip. Italy finished the tournament as runners-up, unluckily losing the final 2–1 against France (to a golden goal in extra time) after conceding les Bleus' equalizing goal just 30 seconds before the expected end of injury time (94'). After the defeat, coach Dino Zoff resigned in protest after being criticized by Milan president and politician Silvio Berlusconi.
In the 2002 World Cup, Italy again had a difficult time. A comfortable 2–0 victory against Ecuador with two Christian Vieri goals was followed by a series of controversial matches. During the match against Croatia, two goals were disallowed resulting in a 2-1 defeat for Italy. Despite two goals being ruled for borderline offsides, a late headed goal from Alessandro Del Piero helped Italy to a 1–1 draw with Mexico proving enough to advance to the knockout stages. However, co-host country South Korea eliminated Italy in the Round of 16 by a score of 2–1. The game was highly controversial with another goal (which would have been a winning Golden Goal by Damiano Tommasi) being ruled out for offside, and Totti being harshly sent off by Ecuadorean referee Byron Moreno for an alleged dive when being tackled by a defender, as well as a penalty being given to Korea in the first half which was saved by Buffon.
A three-way five point tie in the group stage of the 2004 European Championship left Italy as the "odd man out", and they failed to qualify for the quarterfinals after finishing behind Denmark and Sweden on the basis of number of goals scored in matches among the tied teams. Italy's winning goal scored during stoppage time giving them a 2-1 victory over Bulgaria by Antonio Cassano resulted useless, ending the team's tournament with the sad image of the striker in tears at the end of the game.
World Cup winners for the fourth time (2006 World Cup)
Italy's campaign in the 2006 World Cup hosted by Germany was accompanied by open pessimism due to the controversy caused by the 2006 Serie A scandal. These negative predictions were then refuted, as the Azzurri eventually won their fourth World Cup.
Italy won their opening game against Ghana 2–0, with goals from Andrea Pirlo (40') and substitute Vincenzo Iaquinta (83'). The team performance was judged the best among the opening games by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
The second match was a less convincing 1–1 draw with USA, with Alberto Gilardino's diving header equalized by a Cristian Zaccardo own goal. After the equalizer, midfielder Daniele De Rossi and the USA's Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Pope were sent off, leaving only nine men on the field for nearly the entirety of the second half, but the score remained unchanged despite a controversial decision when Gennaro Gattuso's shot was deflected in but disallowed because of an offside ruling. The same happened at the other end when U.S. winger DaMarcus Beasley's goal was not given due to teammate Brian McBride being ruled offside. De Rossi was suspended for four matches for elbowing McBride in the face and would only return for the final match.
Italy finished first in Group E with a 2–0 win against the Czech Republic, with goals from defender Marco Materazzi (26') and striker Filippo Inzaghi (87'), advancing to the Round of 16 in the knockout stages, where they faced Australia. In this match, Materazzi was controversially sent off early in the second half (53') after an attempted two-footed tackle on Australian midfielder Marco Bresciano. In stoppage time a controversial penalty kick was awarded to the Azzurri when referee Luis Medina Cantalejo ruled that Lucas Neill fouled Fabio Grosso. Francesco Totti converted into an upper corner of the goal past Mark Schwarzer for a 1–0 win.
In the quarterfinals Italy beat Ukraine 3–0. Gianluca Zambrotta opened the scoring early (6') with a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area after a quick exchange with Totti created enough space. Luca Toni added two more goals in the second half (59' and 69'), as Ukraine pressed forward but were not able to score, hitting the crossbar and requiring several saves from Buffon and a goal-line clearance from Zambrotta. Afterwards, manager Marcello Lippi dedicated the victory to former Italian international Gianluca Pessotto, who was in the hospital recovering from an apparent suicide attempt.
In the semifinals, Italy beat host country Germany 2–0 with the two goals coming in the last two minutes of extra time. After an exciting, back-and-forth half hour of extra time during which Gilardino and Zambrotta struck the post and the crossbar respectively, Grosso scored in the 119th minute after a disguised Pirlo pass found him open in the penalty area for a bending left-footed shot into the far corner past German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann's dive. Substitute striker Alessandro Del Piero then sealed the victory by scoring with the last kick of the game at the end of a swift counterattack by Cannavaro, Totti and Gilardino. The Azzurri won their fourth World Cup, defeating their long-time rivals France in Berlin, on 9 July, 5–3 on penalty kicks after a 1–1 draw at the end of extra time. French captain Zinedine Zidane opened the scoring in the 7th minute with a chipped penalty kick, controversially awarded for a foul by Materazzi on Florent Malouda. Twelve minutes later, a powerful header by Materazzi from a corner kick by Pirlo brought Italy even. In the second half, a potential winning goal by Toni was disallowed for a very close offside call, called by linesman Luc La Rossa. At 110', the signature moment of the game occurred as Zidane (playing in the last match of his career) was sent off by referee Horacio Elizondo for headbutting Materazzi in the chest after a verbal exchange; the two players were eventually fined by FIFA for this incident. Italy then won the penalty shootout 5–3; the crucial penalty miss being David Trézéguet's powerful attempt that hit the crossbar and stayed out. Italy scored all five attempts in a shootout for the first time ever (Pirlo, Materazzi, De Rossi, Del Piero and Grosso). Italy remain the only side to have played in the two World Cup finals that have ended in shootouts; in 1994 and 2006, losing one and winning the other.
Ten different players scored for Italy and five goals out of twelve were scored by substitutes, while four goals were scored by defenders. Seven players — Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, Francesco Totti and Luca Toni — were named to the 23-man tournament All Star Team. Buffon also won the Lev Yashin Award, given to the best goalkeeper of the tournament; he conceded only two goals in the tournament's seven matches, the first an own goal by Zaccardo and the second from Zidane's penalty kick in the final, and remained unbeaten for 460 consecutive minutes. In honour of Italy winning the FIFA World Cup for a fourth time, all of the World Cup Squad were awarded the Italian Order of Merit of Cavaliere Ufficiale.
Post World Cup and Lippi's return (2006–2010)
After the Italian triumph in the World Cup, 1994 World Cup star Roberto Donadoni was announced the new coach of the Azzurri. He replaced Lippi, who had announced his resignation before the World Cup's start. Italy played in the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying Group B, along with France. Italy won the group, with France being the runner-up. On 14 February 2007, FIFA ranked Italy 1st in the FIFA World Rankings, with a total of 1488 points, 37 points ahead of second ranked Argentina. This moved them up one from their previous rank, 2nd. The Azzurri had not received such an honour since 1993.
In Euro 2008, the Azzurri got off to a poor start, losing 0–3 to a strong Netherlands team who significantly outplayed them on the day. The following game against Romania ended 1–1, with a goal by Christian Panucci that came only a minute after Romania's Adrian Mutu capitalized on a mistake by Gianluca Zambrotta to give Romania the lead. The result was preserved by Gianluigi Buffon who saved a penalty kick from Mutu in the 80th minute.
The final group game against France, a rematch of the 2006 World Cup Final, was a 2–0 Italy win. Andrea Pirlo scored from the penalty spot after a foul and red card for France defender Eric Abidal, and later a free kick by Daniele De Rossi took a wild deflection resulting Italy's second goal. Romania, entering the day a point ahead of the Italians in Group C, lost to the Netherlands 2–0, allowing Italy to pass into the quarterfinals against eventual champion Spain, where they lost 2–4 on penalties after a tense 0-0 draw in normal time and extra time. Within a week after the game, Roberto Donadoni's contract was terminated and Marcello Lippi was rehired as coach.
By virtue of winning the World Cup, Italy qualified for the Confederations Cup, held in South Africa in June 2009. They won their opening match 3-1 against the United States, but subsequent defeats to Egypt (0–1) and Brazil (0–3) meant that they only finished third in the group on goals scored, and were eliminated.
The national football team of Italy qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after playing home games at Stadio Friuli, Stadio Via del Mare, Stadio San Nicola, Stadio Olimpico di Torino and Stadio Ennio Tardini. In October 2009, they achieved qualification after drawing with the Republic of Ireland 2–2. On 4 December 2009, the draw for the World Cup was made: Italy would be in Group F alongside three massive underdog teams: Paraguay, New Zealand, and Slovakia. Italy were considered as favourites to top their group.
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, reigning champions Italy were unexpectedly eliminated in the first round, surprisingly finishing last place in their group. After being held to 1–1 draws by Paraguay and New Zealand, they suffered a shock 3–2 loss to Slovakia. It was the first time Italy failed to win a single game at a World Cup finals tournament, and in doing so became the third nation to be eliminated in the first round while holding the World Cup crown, the first one being Brazil in 1966 and the second France in 2002. Spain became the fourth at the 2014 World Cup. Coincidentally, France who had been Italy's adversaries and the losing finalist in the 2006 World Cup, were also eliminated without winning a game in the first round in South Africa, making it the first time ever that neither finalist of the previous edition were able to reach the second round.
Prandelli Era: European Championship runners-up (2010–2014)
Marcello Lippi stepped down after Italy's World Cup campaign and was replaced by Cesare Prandelli, although Lippi's successor had already been announced before the tournament. Italy began their campaign with Prandelli with a disappointing 0–1 loss to Côte d'Ivoire in a friendly match. Then, during the 2012 Euro Qualifier, Italy came back from behind to defeat Estonia 2–1. In the next UEFA Qualifier, Italy dominated the Faroe Islands 5–0. Italy then tied 0–0 with Northern Ireland. Five days later, Italy played Serbia; however, Serbian fans in Stadio Luigi Ferraris began to riot, throwing flares and shooting fireworks onto the pitch, subsequently ending the game. Upon UEFA Disciplinary Review, Italy was awarded a 3–0 victory that propelled them to the top of their group. In their first match of 2011, Italy drew 1–1 a friendly with Germany at Dortmund, in the same stadium where they beat Germany 2–0 to advance to the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In March 2011, Italy pulled out a 1–0 win over Slovenia to again secure its spot at the top of the qualification table. They then defeated Ukraine 2–0 in a friendly, despite being reduced to ten men for the late stages of the match. With their 3–0 defeat of Estonia in another Euro 2012 qualifier, Prandelli's Italy secured the table lead and also achieved 9 undefeated games in a row since their initial debacle. The streak was ended on June 7, 2011 by Trapattoni's current charges, the Republic of Ireland, with Italy losing 0–2 in a friendly in Liège.
At the beginning of the second season under coach Prandelli, on August 10, 2011, Italy defeated the reigning World champions Spain for 2–1 in a friendly match played in Bari's Stadio San Nicola. They surprisingly lost in a friendly to the United States, 1–0, on home soil on February 29, 2012.
Italy started their Euro 2012 campaign with a 1–1 draw to current reigning European and World champions Spain. Following this they met Croatia and were also held to a 1–1 draw. They finished second in their Group behind Spain by beating the Republic of Ireland 2–0, which earned them a quarter-final match against the winners of group D, England. After a mostly one-sided affair in which Italy failed to take their chances, they managed to best England on penalty kicks, even though they were down early in the shootout. A save by the keeper, Gianluigi Buffon, put them ahead, after a daring chip shot from Andrea Pirlo boosted their spirits. Prandelli's side won the shootout 4–2.
In their next game, the first semi final of the competition, they faced a strong Germany team who were tipped by many to be the next European champions. However two first-half goals by Mario Balotelli saw Germany sent home, and the Italians went through to the finals to face the title defenders Spain national football team.
In the final, however, they were unable to repeat their earlier performance against Spain, and fell 4–0 to decisively lose the championship. Already overmatched by a powerful Spanish side, Prandelli's men were further undone by the bad luck of injuries which left them playing with 10 men for the last half-hour, as substitute Thiago Motta was forced to go off after all three substitutions had been made. Although a disappointing defeat, it was still an achievement to reach Italy's first major cup tournament final appearance of the 2010 decade, especially given their disappointing result at the World Cup two years prior.
During the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, Italy started in a group with Mexico, Japan, and Brazil. After beating Mexico 2-1 and Japan 4-3, Italy eventually lost their final group game against tournament hosts Brazil 4-2. Italy then faced Spain in the semi-finals, in a rematch of the Euro 2012 final. Italy lost 7-6 (0-0 aet) in a long penalty shoot-out. Cesare Prandelli was praised for his tactics against the current World Cup and European champions. Italy was then able to win the match for the third place by defeating Uruguay with the score of 5-4 (p.s.o., 2-2 aet) and gaining its best result in a Confederations Cup up to today.
Italy was drawn in UEFA Group B for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. They were able to easily win the qualifying group without losing a match. Despite this successful run they were not seeded in pot 1 for the final seeding. In December 2013, Italy was drawn in Group D against Costa Rica, England, and Uruguay. In its first match at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Italy defeated England 2-1 in a spirited display. However, in the second group stage match, the tournament's surprise package Costa Rica shocked the favoured Italians 1-0. In Italy's last group match they were knocked out by Uruguay 1-0, due it part to two controversial calls from referee Marco Antonio Rodríguez (Mexico): in the 59th minute, midfielder Claudio Marchisio was sent off for a questionable tackle. Later in the 80th minute with the teams knotted at 0-0 which would have sent Italy to the next round, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez bit defender Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder, but was not sent off. Uruguay would go on to score late with a header from a corner kick, winning the game 1-0 and eliminating Italy. This marked Italy's second consecutive failure to reach the Round of 16 at the World Cup finals. Shortly after this loss, coach Cesare Prandelli resigned.
Conte Era (2014–)
The successful former Juventus manager Antonio Conte was selected to replace Cesare Prandelli as coach after the 2014 World Cup. Italy have only lost one match out of the twelve under Conte. Conte's debut as manager was against 2014 World Cup semi-finalists the Netherlands, which Italy won 2–0.
FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup Qualification record|
|1930||Did Not Enter||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1938||Champions||1st||4||4||0||0||11||5||Qualified as defending champions|
|1950||Group Stage||7th||2||1||0||1||4||3||Qualified as defending champions|
|1958||Did Not Qualify||4||2||0||2||5||5|
|1986||Round of 16||12th||4||1||2||1||5||6||Qualified as defending champions|
|1990||Third Place||3rd||7||6||1||0||10||2||Qualified as hosts|
|2002||Round of 16||15th||4||1||1||2||5||5||8||6||2||0||16||3|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
- **Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
- ***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.
UEFA European Championship
|UEFA European Championship record||UEFA European Championship Qualification record|
|1960||Did Not Enter|
|1964||Did Not Qualify||4||2||1||1||8||3|
|1972||Did Not Qualify||6||4||3||1||13||6|
|1980||Fourth Place||4th||4||1||3||0||2||1||Qualified as hosts|
|1984||Did Not Qualify||8||1||3||4||6||12|
|1992||Did Not Qualify||8||3||4||1||12||5|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shootout.
- **Gold background color indicates that the tournament was won. Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.
FIFA Confederations Cup
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|1992||Did Not Qualify|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shootout.
- This is a list of honours for the senior Italian national team
- Third place (1): 2013
During the earliest days of Italian nation football, it was common for a Technical Commission to be appointed. The Commission took the role that a standard coach would currently play. Ever since 1967, the national team has been controlled by the coaches only.
For this reason, the coach of the Italian national team is still called Technical Commissioner (Commissario tecnico or CT, the use of this denomination has since then expanded into other team sports in Italy).
- Technical Commission (1910–1912)
- Vittorio Pozzo (1912)
- Technical Commission (1912–1924)
- Vittorio Pozzo (1924)
- Technical Commission (1924–1925)
- Augusto Rangone (1925–1928)
- Carlo Carcano (1928–1929)
- Vittorio Pozzo (1929–1948) — World Champions 1934, Olympic Tournament 1936, World Champions 1938
- Ferruccio Novo (1949–1950) — as Technical Commission Chairman
- Technical Commission (1951)
- Carlino Beretta (1952–1953)
- Technical Commission (1953–1959)
- Giuseppe Viani (1960)
- Giovanni Ferrari (1960–1961)
- Giovanni Ferrari and Paolo Mazza (1962)
- Edmondo Fabbri (1962–1966)
- Ferruccio Valcareggi and Helenio Herrera (1966–1967)
- Ferruccio Valcareggi (1967–1974) — European Champions 1968, Runners-Up World Cup 1970
- Fulvio Bernardini (1974–1975)
- Enzo Bearzot (1975–1986) — World Champions 1982— 4th Place World Cup 1978, 4th Place European Championship 1980
- Azeglio Vicini (1986–1991) — Semifinalist European Championship 1988, 3rd Place World Cup 1990
- Arrigo Sacchi (1991–1996) — Runners-Up World Cup 1994
- Cesare Maldini (1997–1998)
- Dino Zoff (1998–2000) — Runners-Up European Championship 2000
- Giovanni Trapattoni (2000–2004)
- Marcello Lippi (2004–2006) — World Champions 2006
- Roberto Donadoni (2006–2008)
- Marcello Lippi (2008–2010)
- Cesare Prandelli (2010–2014) — Runners-Up European Championship 2012, 3rd Place Confederations Cup 2013
- Antonio Conte (2014–)
Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
|28 March 2015 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying||Bulgaria||2–2||Italy||Sofia, Bulgaria|
|Report||Minev 4' (o.g.)
|Stadium: Vasil Levski National Stadium
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
|31 March 2015 Friendly||Italy||1–1||England||Torino, Italy|
|20:45||Pellè 29'||Report||Townsend 79'||Stadium: Juventus Stadium
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
|12 June 2015 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying||Croatia||1–1||Italy||Split, Croatia|
|20:45||Mandžukić 11'||Report||Candreva 36' (pen.)||Stadium: Stadion Poljud
Referee: Martin Atkinson (England)
|16 June 2015 Friendly||Italy||0–1||Portugal||Geneva, Switzerland|
|20:30||Report||Éder 52'||Stadium: Stade de Genève
Referee: Stephan Studer (Switzerland)
|3 September 2015 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying||Italy||1–0||Malta||Florence, Italy|
|20:45||Pellè 69'||Report||Stadium: Stadio Artemio Franchi
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (Slovakia)
|6 September 2015 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying||Italy||1–0||Bulgaria||Palermo, Italy|
|20:45||De Rossi 6' (pen.)||Report||Stadium: Stadio Renzo Barbera
Referee: Sergei Karasev (Russia)
|10 October 2015 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying||Azerbaijan||v||Italy||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|Stadium: Tofiq Bahramov Stadium
|13 October 2015 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying||Italy||v||Norway||Rome, Italy|
|Stadium: Stadio Olimpico
|13 November 2015 Friendly||Belgium||v||Italy||Brussels, Belgium|
|Stadium: King Baudouin Stadium 
|12 November 2016 2018 FIFA WC qualification||Liechtenstein||v||Italy||Vaduz, Liechtenstein|
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
|1||Italy (X)||8||5||3||0||11||5||+6||18||Advance to final tournament||—||13 Oct||1–1||1–0||2–1||1–0|
|2||Norway (X)||8||5||1||2||10||8||+2||16||0–2||—||2–0||2–1||0–0||10 Oct|
|3||Croatia[a]||8||4||3||1||16||5||+11||14||Final tournament or play-offs||1–1||5–1||—||10 Oct||6–0||2–0|
|4||Bulgaria (Y)||8||2||2||4||7||9||−2||8||2–2||0–1||0–1||—||13 Oct||1–1|
|5||Azerbaijan (E)||8||1||3||4||6||13||−7||6||10 Oct||0–1||0–0||1–2||—||2–0|
|6||Malta (E)||8||0||2||6||3||13||−10||2||0–1||0–3||13 Oct||0–1||2–2||—|
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
(E) Eliminated; (X) Assured of at least third place (and play-offs), but may still qualify directly as one of the top two teams or as the best third-placed team; (Y) Cannot qualify directly as one of the top two teams, but may still qualify as third-placed team.
- Croatia were deducted one point after charges for racist behaviour in the match against Italy at Stadion Poljud. In addition, the Croatian Football Federation were ordered to play their next two home matches of UEFA competition behind closed doors and not to play any of its remaining qualifying games at Poljud. A fine of €100,000 was also imposed. The Croatian Football Federation appealed against the decision and a hearing was scheduled for 17 September 2015. Croatia's appeal was rejected.
Caps and goals as of 6 September 2015, after the match against Bulgaria.
The following players have also been called up to the Italy squad within the last 12 months. Players that have retired from the national team and are not available for selection anymore are not displayed.
INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
Most capped players
As of 6 September 2015, the players with the most appearances for Italy are:
|6||Daniele De Rossi||2004–present||101||17|
|9||Alessandro Del Piero||1995–2008||91||27|
Bold denotes still active players.
As of 6 September 2015, the players with the most goals for Italy are:
|#||Name||Career||Goals||Caps||Goals per match|
|Alessandro Del Piero||1995–2008||27||91||0.30|
Bold denotes still active players.
Head to head records
- As of match played 6 September 2015.
- Draws include Penalty shoot-outs
- Countries that are in italics are used as a team country a nonmember to FIFA or a team country had been defunct was on the team record
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1||0||0||1||1||2||−1||UEFA|
|Republic of Ireland||13||8||3||2||20||9||+11||UEFA|
Italy's qualifying matches and friendlies are currently televised by RAI.
- Italy women's national football team
- Italy national under-21 football team
- Italy national under-19 football team
- Italy national under-17 football team
- Italy national beach soccer team
- Italy national futsal team
- Serie A
- Sport in Italy
- "FIGC". Figc.it. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- "FIGC – Club Italia". Figc.it. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/p/cg/por_prk_1966.html[dead link]
- "Italians triumph in heavyweight rumble". FIFA. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Yahoo! Sports – Sports News, Scores, Rumors, Fantasy Games, and more[dead link]
- "Match Report – 1994 FIFA World Cup USA (TM): Nigeria – Italy". FIFA.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- "Match Report – 1994 FIFA World Cup USA (TM): Italy – Spain". FIFA.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- "Match Report – 1994 FIFA World Cup USA (TM): Bulgaria – Italy". FIFA.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- "Match Report – 1994 FIFA World Cup USA (TM): Brazil – Italy". FIFA.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- There was some controversy as both Sweden and Denmark knew before their final match that a 2–2 draw between them would let both Scandinavian sides qualify at the Italians' expense, and that was exactly what transpired. Totti again found himself at the centre of controversy for the Italian side after being suspended for three games for a spitting incident in the match against Denmark.
- "People's Daily Online – Scandal threatening to bury Italy's Cup dream". English.people.com.cn. 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- Dampf, Andrew (2006-06-12). "Pirlo Leads Italy Past Ghana at World Cup". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- "Italy 1–0 Australia". BBC Sport. 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- "Lippi dedicates win to Pessotto". BBC. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2006-07-25.
- "Germany 0–2 Italy (aet)". BBC Sport. 2006-07-04. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- Stevenson, Jonathan (2006-07-09). "Italy 1–1 France (aet)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- "Azzurri prominent in All Star Team". FIFA.com. 2006-07-07. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- More than half the team admitted that their hardest game of the campaign was the game against Australia in the round of 16. "Buffon collects Lev Yashin Award". FIFA.com. 2006-07-10. Retrieved 2006-07-25.
- "Italy squad given heroes' welcome". BBC Sport. 2006-07-10. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- "Italian joy at World Cup victory". BBC Sport. 2006-07-10. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- Buckley, Kevin (21 May 2006). "Lippi the latest to be sucked into crisis". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2006.
- "Italy oust Brazil to take top spot". FIFA.com. 14 February 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2006.
- Francis, Dan (13 June 2008). "Group C: Italy 1 Romania 1 FT". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Lippi returns to manage Italy". TribalFootball.com. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- Krishnan, Joe (18 June 2014). holders-who-crashed-out-at-the-group-stage-9547351.html "World Cup 2014: Spain and the World Cup holders who crashed out at the group stage" Check
|url=scheme (help). The Independent. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- Duggan, Keith (25 June 2010). "Italy out of Africa and Lippi out of excuses". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Fiorentina manager Prandelli accepts Italy job". BBC Sport. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Jackson, Jamie (10 August 2010). "Italy's new dawn fails to rise in dismal defeat by Ivory Coast". The Guardina. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Thousands of rioting Serbian fans attack Italian police, forcing referee to abandon Euro football match". Daily Mail. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Uefa hands Italy 3-0 win after Serbia violence in Genoa". BBC Sport. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Italy crash to USA defeat". Sky Sports. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- McNulty, Phil (24 June 2012). "England - Italy 0-0". BBC Sport.
- Taylor, Daniel (24 June 2012). "Euro 2012: England hearts broken on penalties again as Italy triumph". The Guardian.
- "Germany 'clearly' favourites, Italian coach says". Toronto Sun. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Arvinth, Karthick (20 June 2012). "'Classy' Germany favourites to win Euro 2012, says Lippi". Goal.com. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Euro 2012 analysis: Why Germany could not handle Balotelli and Pirlo". BBC Sport. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Spain, Germany favourites to win Euro 2012: Dwight Yorke". DNA India.com. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Wahl, Grant (7 June 2012). "Euro 2012 Tournament Preview". SI.com. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Pratesi, Riccardo (27 June 2013). "Confederations, Spagna-Italia 7-6: i rigori beffano gli azzurri". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Dampf, Andrew (20 June 2014). "Costa Rica continues to surprise by beating Italy". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Duarte, Michael (24 June 2014). "Italy Vs. Uruguay Results And Highlights: Claudio Marchisio's Red Card Dooms Italy. Suarez Bites Again.". Latin Times. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Ong, Larry (24 June 2014). "Italy vs Uruguay Video Highlights, Score: Suarez, Chiellini ‘Biting’ Controversy, Diego Godín Puts La Celeste in World Cup 2014 Second Round". Epoch Times. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "World Cup: Luis Suarez mired in another biting controversy as Uruguay beat Italy". Sky Sports. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Costa Rica continues to surprise by beating Italy". BBC Sport. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "World Cup 2014: Italy boss Cesare Prandelli to resign". BBC Sport. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Russia given abandoned Montenegro tie by forfeit after riot". BBC Sport. 8 April 2015.
- "Croatia deducted one European Qualifiers point". UEFA.com. 23 July 2015.
- "Point deduction stands for Croatia". UEFA.com. 18 September 2015.
1934 (First title)
1938 (Second title)
1982 (Third title)
2006 (Fourth title)
1968 (First title)
1972 West Germany
Renault F1 Team
|Laureus World Team of the Year
South African Rugby Union Team
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Italy national association football team.|
- Italian Football Federation (Official news about the national team)
- TEAM AZZURRI - Unofficial fan site for the Italian national football team
- RSSSF archive of international results 1910—
- RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers
- RSSSF archive of coaches 1910—
- Italy at the World Cups
- Italy Teams at World Cups
- Italy: Head-to-Head Records at World Cups
- Italy Players' Clubs
- Planet World Cup archive of results in the World Cup
- Planet World Cup archive of squads in the World Cup
- Planet World Cup archive of results in the World Cup qualifiers
- Forza Azzurri Statistics — A comprehensive Statistics archive
- Football Italiano – U.K based site on Italian Football
- Italian Football News
- Italian World Cup 2010 – Meet the Italian World Cup Squad (VIDEO)