The Italy national football team (Italian: Nazionale di calcio dell'Italia) has represented Italy in men's international football since its first match in 1910. The national team is controlled by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the governing body for football in Italy, which is a co-founder and member of UEFA. Italy's home matches are played at various stadiums throughout Italy, and its primary training ground and technical headquarters, Centro Tecnico Federale di Coverciano, is located in Florence. Italy are the reigning European champions, having won UEFA Euro 2020.
Italy is one of the most successful national teams in the history of football and the World Cup, having won four titles (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), appearing in two other finals (1970, 1994), and reaching also a third (1990) and a fourth (1978) place. Italy also won two European Championships (1968, 2020), and appeared in two other finals of the tournament (2000, 2012). Italy's team also finished as runners-up in the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions in 2022, and in third place at both the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013 and at the UEFA Nations League in 2021 and 2023.
The team is known as gli Azzurri (the Blues), because Savoy blue is the common colour of the national teams representing Italy, as it is the traditional paint of the royal House of Savoy, which reigned over the Kingdom of Italy. In 1938, Italy became the first team to defend its World Cup title, and due to the outbreak of World War II, retained the title for a further 12 years. Italy had also previously won two Central European International Cups (1927–30, 1933–35). Between its first two World Cup victories, Italy won the Olympic football tournament (1936). After the majority of the team was killed in a plane crash in 1949, Italy obtained poor results in the 1950s, even failing to qualify for the 1958 World Cup. Failure to qualify for the World Cup did not happen again until the consecutive editions of 2018 and 2022. However, the team was unbeaten from October 2018 to October 2021, and holds the world record for most consecutive matches without defeat (37).
Italy has notable rivalries with other footballing nations, such as Brazil, France, Germany and Spain. In the FIFA World Rankings, in force since August 1993, Italy has occupied the first place several times, in November 1993 and during 2007 (February, April–June, September), with its worst placement in August 2018 in 21st place.
Origins and first two World Cups titles in 1934 and 1938
An early attempt to create an Italian national team occurred on 30 April 1899, when an Italian selection played a Swiss eleven, losing 0–2 in Torino. The team's first official match was held in Milan on 15 May 1910. Italy defeated France by a score of 6–2, with Italy's first goal scored by Pietro Lana. 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. The 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. In the 1927–30 and 1933–35 Central European International Cup, Italy achieved the first place out of five Central European teams, topping the group with 11 points in both editions of the tournament. Italy would also later win the gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics with a 2–1 victory in extra time in the gold medal match over Austria on 15 August 1936.
After declining to participate in the inaugural World Cup (1930, in Uruguay) the Italy national team won two consecutive editions of the tournament in 1934 and 1938, under the direction of coach Vittorio Pozzo and the performance of Giuseppe Meazza, who is considered one of the best Italian football players of all time by some. Italy hosted the 1934 World Cup, and played their first ever World Cup match in a 7–1 win over the United States in Rome. Italy defeated Czechoslovakia 2–1 in extra time in the final in Rome, with goals by Raimundo Orsi and Angelo Schiavio to achieve their first World cup title in 1934. They achieved their second title in 1938 in a 4–2 defeat of Hungary, with two goals by Gino Colaussi and two goals by Silvio Piola in the World Cup that followed. It is rumored that before the 1938 finals fascist Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini sent a telegram to the team, saying "Vincere o morire!" (literally translated as "Win or die!"). However, no record remains of such a telegram, and World Cup player Pietro Rava said when interviewed: "No, no, no, that's not true. He sent a telegram wishing us well, but no never 'win or die'."
Reconstruction in the 1950s and 1960s
In 1949, 10 of the 11 players in the team's initial line-up were killed in a plane crash that affected Torino, winners of the previous five Serie A titles. Italy did not advance further than the first round of the 1950 World Cup, as they were weakened severely due to the air disaster. The team had travelled by boat rather than by plane, fearing another accident.
In the World Cup finals of 1954 and 1962, Italy failed to progress past the first round, and did not qualify for the 1958 World Cup due to a 2–1 defeat to Northern Ireland in the last match of the qualifying round. 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 Soviet Union in the first round of the 1964 European Nations' Cup qualifying.
Their participation in the 1966 World Cup was ended by a 0–1 defeat at the hands of North Korea. Despite being the tournament favourites, the Azzurri, whose 1966 squad included Gianni Rivera and Giacomo Bulgarelli, were eliminated in the first round by the semi-professional North Koreans. The Italian team was bitterly condemned upon their return home, while North Korean scorer Pak Doo-ik was celebrated as the David who killed Goliath. Upon Italy's return home, furious fans threw fruit and rotten tomatoes at their transport bus at the airport.
European champions and World Cup runners-up (1968–1974)
In 1968, Italy participated in their first European Championship, hosting the European Championship and winning their first major competition since the 1938 World Cup, beating Yugoslavia in Rome for the title. The match is the only European Championship or World Cup final to go to a replay. After extra time the final 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 Gigi Riva and Pietro Anastasi) to take the trophy. The semi-final was won on a coin toss.
In the 1970 World Cup, exploiting the performances of European champions' players like Giacinto Facchetti, Gianni Rivera and Gigi Riva and with a new centre-forward Roberto Boninsegna, the team were able to come back to a World Cup final match after 32 years. They reached this result after one of the most famous matches in football history—the "Game of the Century", the 1970 World Cup semifinal between Italy and West Germany that Italy won 4–3 in extra time, with five of the seven goals coming in extra time. They were later defeated by Brazil in the final 4–1.
After losing to Belgium in the quarter-finals to qualify for the 1972 European Championship, this generation's cycle ended at the 1974 World Cup, where the team was eliminated in the group stage after a 2–1 loss against Poland in the last match of the group.
Third World Cup title generation (1978–1986)
Under the head coach Enzo Bearzot, appointed in 1977, a new generation of Italian players came to the international stage in the 1978 World Cup. Italy was 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 the team was defeated by Brazil 2–1. In the match that eliminated Italy from the tournament against the Netherlands, Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff was beaten by a long-distance shot from Arie Haan, and Zoff was criticized for the defeat. Italy hosted the 1980 European Championship, the first edition to be held between eight teams instead of four, automatically qualifying for the finals as hosts. After two draws with Spain and Belgium and a narrow 1–0 win over England, Italy were beaten by Czechoslovakia in the third-place match on penalties 9–8 after Fulvio Collovati missed his kick.
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 qualified for the second round of the 1982 World Cup 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 regrouped in the second round group, a group of death with Argentina and Brazil. In the opener, Italy prevailed 2–1 over Argentina, with 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's goals, and twice Brazil came back. When 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, for a hat-trick, in a crowded penalty area to send Italy to the semifinals after one of the greatest games in World Cup history.
Italy then progressed to the semi-final where they defeated Poland with two goals from Rossi. In the final, Italy met West Germany, who had advanced by a penalty shootout victory against France. The first half ended scoreless, after Antonio 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, Marco 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.
Tardelli's cry "Gol! Gol!" was one of the defining images of Italy's 1982 World Cup triumph. Paolo Rossi won the Golden Boot with six goals as well as the Golden Ball Award for the best player of the tournament, and 40-year-old captain-goalkeeper Dino Zoff became the oldest player to win the World Cup. However, Italy failed to qualify for the 1984 European Championship. Italy then entered as reigning champions in the 1986 World Cup but were eliminated by reigning European Champions, France, in the round of 16.
Vicini years and World Cup runners-up with Sacchi (1986–1994)
In 1986, Azeglio Vicini was appointed as new head coach, replacing Bearzot. New coach conceded a chance to young players, such as Ciro Ferrara and Gianluca Vialli: Sampdoria striker scored goals that gave Italy 1988 European Championship pass. He was also shown like Altobelli's possibly successor, having his same goal attitude. Both forwards stroke the target in Germany, where Soviet Union defeated the Azzurri in semi-finals.
Italy hosted the World Cup for the second time in 1990. The Italian attack featured talented forwards Salvatore Schillaci and a young Roberto Baggio. Italy played nearly all of their matches in Rome and did not concede a single goal in their first five matches; however, they lost the semi-final in Naples to defending champion Argentina. Argentinian player Maradona, who played for Napoli, made comments prior to the game pertaining to the North–South inequality in Italy and the risorgimento, asking Neapolitans to root for Argentina in the game. Italy lost 4–3 on penalty kicks following a 1–1 draw after extra time. Schillaci's first-half opener was 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 in Bari, with Schillaci scoring the winning goal on a penalty to become the tournament's top scorer with six goals.
After failing to qualify for the 1992 European Championship, Vicini was replaced by former A.C. Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi, who brought a new style of play. In November 1993, FIFA ranked Italy first in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time since the ranking system was introduced in December 1992.
At the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Italy lost the opening match against Ireland 0–1 at the Giants Stadium near New York City. After a 1–0 win against Norway in New York City and a 1–1 draw with Mexico at the RFK Stadium 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 at the Foxboro Stadium near Boston, Italy was down 0–1 late against Nigeria, but Baggio rescued Italy with an equaliser in the 88th minute and a penalty in extra time to take the win. Baggio scored another late goal against Spain at their quarter-final match in Boston to seal a 2–1 win and two 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 2,700 miles (4,320 km) and three time zones away from the Atlantic Northeast part of the United States where they had played all their previous matches, Italy, who had 24 hours less rest than Brazil, played 120 minutes of scoreless football, taking the match to a penalty shootout, the first time a World Cup final was settled in a penalty shootout. Italy lost the subsequent shootout 3–2 after Baggio, who had been playing with the aid of a pain-killer injection and a heavily bandaged hamstring, missed the final penalty kick of the match, shooting over the crossbar.
Euro 2000 runners-up (1996–2000)
After qualifying for Euro 1996 on level points with Croatia, Italy did not progress beyond the group stage at the final tournament. Having defeated Russia 2–1 but losing to the Czech Republic by the same score, Italy required a victory in their final group match to progress to the quarter-finals. Gianfranco Zola failed to convert a decisive penalty in a 0–0 draw against Germany, who eventually won the tournament.
Relegated to second place behind England in the qualification campaign for the 1998 World Cup, Italy booked a place at the final tournament after defeating Russia in a play-off, with Pierluigi Casiraghi scoring the winning goal in a 2–1 aggregate victory on 15 November 1997. After finishing first in their group and overcoming Norway in the second round, Italy faced a penalty shoot-out in the quarterfinals, for the third World Cup in a row. The Italian side, where Alessandro 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, but lost 4–3 in the shoot-out. With two goals scored in this tournament, Baggio remains the only Italian player to have scored in three different FIFA World Cup editions.
Two years later, at the Euro 2000, with four consecutive victories the team led by former captain Dino Zoff made it all the way to the semifinals, facing another penalty shoot-out but emerging victorious over the co-hosts, the Netherlands. Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo saved one penalty during the match and two in the shootout, while striker Francesco Totti scored his penalty with a cucchiaio ("spoon") chip. Italy finished the tournament as runners-up, losing the final 2–1 against France (to a golden goal in extra time) after conceding an equalising goal just 30 seconds before the expected end of injury time. After the defeat, coach Dino Zoff resigned in protest after being criticized by AC Milan club president and politician Silvio Berlusconi.
Trapattoni years (2000–2004)
Giovanni Trapattoni took charge of the team in July 2000 following the resignation of Dino Zoff. Playing in Group 8 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification process, Italy finished undefeated after facing Romania, Georgia, Hungary and Lithuania. In the final tournament, a 2–0 victory against Ecuador with a double from Christian Vieri was followed by a series of controversial matches. During the match against Croatia, English referee Graham Poll disallowed two goals resulting in a 2–1 defeat for Italy. Despite two goals being ruled for 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.
Co-host country South Korea eliminated Italy in the round of 16 by a score of 2–1. The match proved controversial with members of the Italian team, most notably striker Francesco Totti and coach Giovanni Trapattoni, suggesting a conspiracy to eliminate Italy from the competition. Trapattoni even obliquely accused FIFA of ordering the official to ensure a Korean victory so that one of the two host nations would remain in the tournament. The most contentious decisions by the game referee Byron Moreno were an early penalty awarded to South Korea (saved by Buffon), a golden goal by Damiano Tommasi ruled offside, and the sending off of Totti after being presented with a second yellow card for an alleged dive in the penalty area. FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated that the linesmen had been a "disaster" and admitted that Italy suffered from bad offside calls during the group matches, but he denied conspiracy allegations. While questioning Totti's sending off by Moreno, Blatter refused to blame Italy's loss entirely on the referees, stating: "Italy's elimination is not only down to referees and linesmen who made human not premeditated errors. Italy made mistakes both in defense and in attack."
Trapattoni stayed on and guided the team at Euro 2004 in Portugal, where after draws against Denmark and Sweden along with a victory over Bulgaria in Group C, Italy were eliminated following a three-way five point tie based on the number of goals scored in matches among the tied teams. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and then Italian football federation president Franco Carraro accused the Swedish and Danish teams of fixing the result. Despite calls, then-UEFA spokesperson Robert Faulkner said the organization would not investigate the result. After initially refusing to resign following Italy's elimination from the tournament, the Italian Football Federation replaced Trapattoni with Marcello Lippi.
2006 World Cup victory and later decline
With controversy plaguing the domestic league, Italy entered the final tournament as one of the eight seeded teams. Italy finished first in Group E with wins against Ghana and the Czech Republic and a draw with the United States.
In the round of 16, Italy secured a 1–0 victory over Australia with Francesco Totti scoring a penalty. Italy overcame Ukraine, 3–0, after taking an early lead through Gianluca Zambrotta and additional goals coming from Luca Toni. In the semi-finals, Italy beat hosts Germany 2–0 with goals Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero in the last minutes of extra time.
The Azzurri won their fourth World Cup title after defeating France in the final. French captain Zinedine Zidane opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the seventh minute before Materazzi scored from a corner kick, twelve minutes later. The score remained level and though extra-time and Zidane was sent off for headbutting Materazzi. Italy went on to win the penalty shootout 5–3, with all Italian players scoring their kicks.
FIFA named seven Italian players — Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, Francesco Totti and Luca Toni — 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 a fourth FIFA World Cup, members of the squad were awarded the Italian Order of Merit of Cavaliere.
Marcello Lippi, who had announced his resignation three days after the World Cup triumph, was replaced by Roberto Donadoni. Italy qualified from their Euro 2008 qualifying group ahead of France. On 14 February 2007, Italy climbed to first in the FIFA World Rankings for only the second time. At Euro 2008, the Azzurri lost 3–0 to the Netherlands in the opening match of the group stage. The following game against Romania ended 1–1 thanks to a penalty save from Gianluigi Buffon. Italy would win their final group game against France 2–0, a rematch of the 2006 World Cup final. The Azzurri were eliminated in the quarter-finals on penalties to eventual champions Spain. Within a week of the game, Roberto Donadoni's contract was terminated and Marcello Lippi was rehired as coach.
Italy qualified for their first ever FIFA Confederations Cup held in South Africa in June 2009 by virtue of winning the 2006 World Cup. They won their opening match of the tournament against the United States, but subsequent defeats to Egypt and Brazil meant that they finished third in the group on goals scored, and were eliminated.
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, reigning champions Italy were unexpectedly eliminated in the first round, finishing last place in their group. After being held to 1–1 draws with Paraguay and New Zealand, they suffered a 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 only the third nation to be eliminated in the first round while being reigning World Cup champions.
Euro 2012 runners-up and fluctuating results (2010–2016)
At UEFA Euro 2012, Italy finished second in their group behind Spain, which earned them a quarter-final tie against England. After a mostly one-sided affair in which Italy failed to take their chances, they managed to beat England on penalties. In the semi-final against Germany, two first-half goals by Mario Balotelli saw the Italians through to the final. In the final, Italy fell to a 4–0 defeat to Spain.
During the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, Italy reached the semi-finals, losing 7–6 on penalties to Spain. Italy did manage to beat Uruguay in the third place play-off. At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Italy managed to defeat England 2–1 in their first match before succumbing to underdogs Costa Rica 1–0 in the second group stage match. In Italy's last group match, they were knocked out by Uruguay 1–0, in a controversial match. Shortly after this loss, coach Cesare Prandelli resigned.
Former Juventus manager Antonio Conte was selected to replace Prandelli. On 10 October 2015, Italy qualified for Euro 2016, courtesy of a 3–1 win over Azerbaijan; the result meant that Italy had gone 50 games unbeaten in European qualifiers. On 4 April 2016, it was announced that Antonio Conte would step down as Italy coach after Euro 2016 to become head coach of Chelsea. The 23-man squad was initially criticised by many fans and members of the media for its lack of quality, which saw notable absences such as Andrea Pirlo and Sebastian Giovinco being controversially left out. Italy opened Euro 2016 with a 2–0 victory over Belgium and qualified thanks to a win against Sweden in the second match. Italy subsequently defeated reigning European champions Spain 2–0 in the round of 16. However, Italy were defeated by reigning World champions Germany, in the quarter-finals on penalties.
Failure to qualify for 2018 World Cup
After Conte's planned departure following Euro 2016, Gian Piero Ventura took over as manager for the team. During qualification for the 2018 World Cup, Italy finished second in Group G, five points behind Spain. Italy would have to compete in the play-off round against Sweden. However, Italy would lose 1–0 on aggregate to Sweden and were therefore eliminated; the first time that Italy had failed to qualify for the World Cup since 1958. Following the match, veterans Andrea Barzagli, Daniele De Rossi and captain Gianluigi Buffon all declared their retirement from the national team. On 15 November 2017, Ventura was dismissed as head coach, and on 20 November 2017, Carlo Tavecchio resigned as president of the Italian Football Federation.
Luigi Di Biagio was called as caretaker manager and led the team in subsequent friendlies in March 2018, including the last of Buffon's 176 appearances on 23 March in a friendly against Argentina.
Mancini era (2018–2023)
Resurgence and second European title
On 14 May 2018, Roberto Mancini was announced as the new manager. On 16 August 2018, in the FIFA World Ranking that followed the 2018 World Cup, Italy dropped to their lowest ever ranking of 21st.
On 18 November 2019, Italy finished the Euro 2020 qualifying with ten wins in all ten matches, becoming only the sixth national side to qualify for a European Championship with a perfect record. On 17 March 2020, UEFA confirmed that Euro 2020 would be postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the delayed Euro 2020, Italy finished top of Group A, ahead of Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales. Being one of the host nations, Italy played all three group games at home at Rome's Stadio Olimpico. Italy became the first team in European Championship history to win each group stage match without conceding. In the round of 16, Italy defeated Austria at Wembley Stadium after extra time. In the quarter-finals, Italy overcame Belgium before beating Spain on penalties in the semi-finals. On 11 July 2021, Italy won the European Championship defeating hosts England at Wembley Stadium on penalties after a 1–1 draw, their second European title after the one in 1968. The goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma also won the Player of the Tournament award, given to the best player of the tournament. On 16 July, all members of the European Championship-winning squad were awarded the Italian Order of Merit of Cavaliere.
Failure to qualify for 2022 World Cup
In October 2021, Italy participated in the UEFA Nations League Finals as hosts. However, Italy lost the semi-final against Spain, 2–1 at the San Siro. This match meant the end of the record 37 game unbeaten run and the first defeat for Italy in more than 3 years. Four days later, Italy won the third-place play-off, 2–1 against Belgium. On 15 November 2021, Italy drew 0–0 with Northern Ireland in their final 2022 World Cup qualifying Group C match and finished in second place, two points behind Switzerland. On 24 March 2022, Italy lost 1–0 in the semi-final of the play-offs against North Macedonia, therefore, failing to qualify for the World Cup for a second consecutive time.
On 1 June 2022, Italy took part in the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions match, rebranded as the 2022 Finalissima, losing 3–0 against Argentina. On 26 September, Italy qualified to the 2023 UEFA Nations League Finals after beating Hungary 2–0 in Budapest. On 15 June 2023, Italy played the semi-final against Spain, losing 2–1. Three days later, Italy won the third-place final 3–2 against the Netherlands. Mancini's stay on Italy's bench ended two months later following his resignation, with Luciano Spalletti being chosen in his place.
Spalletti years (2023–present)
As of September 2023, Spalletti led the team in the last 6 games of Euro 2024 qualifying, and Italy managed to achieve direct qualification to the European Championship by taking second place in the Group C won by England.
- Italy vs. Brazil: Matches between the nations are known as the World Derby (Portuguese: Clássico Mundial in Portuguese). The most successful football nations in the world, they have achieved nine World Cups between one another. Since their first match at the 1938 World Cup, they have played against each other a total of five times in the World Cup, most notably in the 1970 World Cup Final and the 1994 World Cup final in which Brazil won 4–1 and 3–2 on penalties after a goalless draw respectively.
- Italy vs. France: Matches between the two nations officially began on 15 May 1910, Italy's first recorded match ending in a 6–2 victory. Notable matches in the World Cup and the European Football Championship include the 2006 World Cup Final, when the Italians defeated the French 5–3 in the penalty shoot-out, after a 1–1 draw, and the 2000 European Championship, won by France with an extra-time golden goal by David Trezeguet.
- Italy vs. Germany: Matches between the two nations have cumulated in five matches in the World Cup, notably in the "Game of the Century", the 1970 World Cup semifinal between the two countries that Italy won 4–3 in extra time, with five of the seven goals coming in extra time. Germany has also won three European Championships while Italy has won it twice. The two countries have faced each other four times in the European championship, with three draws (one German penalty shoot-out victory) and one Italian victory. Germany had never defeated Italy in a major tournament match until their victory in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals, on penalties (though statistically considered a draw), with all Germany's other wins over Italy being in friendly competitions.
- Italy vs. Spain: This is a less heated and less heartfelt rivalry for the Italians, especially when compared to those with Germany and France. Matches between Italy and Spain are known as the Mediterranean Derby (Spanish: Rivalidad futbolística Italia-España), named after the Mediterranean Sea that separates the two nations. Matches between them have been contested since 1920, and although they are not immediate geographical neighbours, their rivalry at international level is enhanced by the strong performances of their representative clubs in UEFA competitions. Since the quarterfinal match between them at Euro 2008, the rivalry has renewed, with its most notable match being the UEFA Euro 2012 Final, which Spain won 4–0.
Kits and crest
The first shirt worn by the Italy national team, in its debut against France on 15 May 1910, was white. The choice of colour was due to the fact that a decision about the appearance of the kit had not yet been made, so it was decided not to have a colour, which was why white was chosen. After two games, for a friendly against Hungary in Milan on 6 January 1911, the white shirt was replaced by a blue jersey (specifically savoy azure) — blue being the border colour of the royal House of Savoy crest used on the flag of the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946); the shirt was accompanied by white shorts and black socks (which later became blue). The team later became known as gli Azzurri (the Blues).
In the 1930s, Italy wore a black kit, ordered by the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. The black kit debuted on 17 February 1935 in a friendly against France at the Stadio Nazionale PNF in Rome. A blue shirt, white shorts and black socks were worn at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin the following year. At the 1938 FIFA World Cup in France, the all-black kit was worn once in the match against France.
After World War II, the fascist regime fell and the monarchy was abolished in 1946. The same year saw the birth of the Italian Republic, and the blue-and-white kit was reinstated. The cross of the former Royal House of Savoy was removed from the flag of Italy, and consequently from the national team's badge, now consisting solely of the Tricolore. For the 1954 FIFA World Cup, the country's name in Italian, ITALIA, was placed above the tricolour shield, and for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, FIGC, the abbreviation of the Italian Football Federation, was incorporated into the badge.
In 1983, to celebrate the victory at the World Cup of the previous year, three gold stars replaced ITALIA above the tricolour, representing their three World Cup victories until that point. In 1984, a round emblem was launched, featuring the three stars, the inscriptions ITALIA and FIGC, and the tricolour.
The first known kit manufacturer was Adidas in 1974. From 2003 to 2022, the kit was made by Puma. Since the 2000s, an all-blue uniform including blue shorts has occasionally been used, particularity in international tournaments. After Italy's 2006 World Cup victory, a fourth star was added to the tricolour badge. In March 2022, after almost 20 years with Puma, it was announced that Adidas will be Italy's kit manufacturer from 2023.
|Le Coq Sportif||1980–1986|
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 only by the coach. For this reason, the coach of the Italy national team is still called Technical Commissioner (Italian: Commissario tecnico) or CT. The use of this title has since then expanded into other team sports in Italy.
|Head coach||Luciano Spalletti|
|Assistant coach||Marco Domenichini|
|Assistants|| Daniele Baldini|
|Goalkeeping coach||Marco Savorani|
|Athletic trainers|| Francesco Sinatti|
|Match analysts|| Marco Mannucci|
|Doctors|| Angelo De Carli|
|Physiotherapists|| Mauro Doimi|
|Head of delegation||Gianluigi Buffon|
Results and fixtures
The following is a list of match results in the last twelve months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Win Draw Loss Fixture
|23 March 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying||Italy||1–2||England||Napoli, Italy|
|20:45 CET (UTC+01:00)||
||Report||Stadium: Stadio Diego Armando Maradona|
Referee: Srđan Jovanović (Serbia)
|26 March 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying||Malta||0–2||Italy||Ta' Qali, Malta|
|20:45 CEST (UTC+02:00)||Report||Stadium: National Stadium|
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)
|15 June 2023 2022–23 UEFA Nations League SF||Spain||2–1||Italy||Enschede, Netherlands|
|20:45 CEST (UTC+02:00)||Report||Stadium: De Grolsch Veste|
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)
|18 June 2023 2022–23 UEFA Nations League 3rd||Netherlands||2–3||Italy||Enschede, Netherlands|
|15:00 CEST (UTC+02:00)||Report||Stadium: De Grolsch Veste|
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (Sweden)
|9 September 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying||North Macedonia||1–1||Italy||Skopje, North Macedonia|
|20:45 CEST (UTC+02:00)||
||Stadium: Toše Proeski Arena|
Referee: François Letexier (France)
|12 September 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying||Italy||2–1||Ukraine||Milan, Italy|
|20:45 CEST (UTC+02:00)||
||Stadium: San Siro|
Referee: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (Spain)
|14 October 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying||Italy||4–0||Malta||Bari, Italy|
|20:45 CEST (UTC+02:00)||Report||Stadium: Stadio San Nicola|
Referee: Duje Strukan (Croatia)
|17 October 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying||England||3–1||Italy||London, England|
|20:45 CEST (UTC+02:00)||Report||
||Stadium: Wembley Stadium|
Referee: Clément Turpin (France)
|17 November 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying||Italy||5–2||North Macedonia||Rome, Italy|
|20:45 CET (UTC+01:00)||Report||
||Stadium: Stadio Olimpico|
Referee: Felix Zwayer (Germany)
|20 November 2023 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying||Ukraine||0–0||Italy||Leverkusen, Germany[note 1]|
|20:45 CET (UTC+01:00)||Report||Stadium: BayArena|
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain)
- Information correct as of 20 November 2023, after the match against Ukraine.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Gianluigi Donnarumma (captain)||25 February 1999||60||0||Paris Saint-Germain|
|12||GK||Ivan Provedel||17 March 1994||0||0||Lazio|
|21||GK||Guglielmo Vicario||7 October 1996||0||0||Tottenham Hotspur|
|GK||Marco Carnesecchi||1 July 2000||0||0||Atalanta|
|2||DF||Giovanni Di Lorenzo||4 August 1993||32||3||Napoli|
|3||DF||Federico Dimarco||10 November 1997||16||2||Inter Milan|
|4||DF||Federico Gatti||24 June 1998||3||0||Juventus|
|5||DF||Cristiano Biraghi||1 September 1992||16||1||Fiorentina|
|6||DF||Alessandro Buongiorno||6 June 1999||2||0||Torino|
|13||DF||Matteo Darmian||2 December 1989||41||2||Inter Milan|
|15||DF||Francesco Acerbi||10 February 1988||34||1||Inter Milan|
|23||DF||Gianluca Mancini||17 April 1996||11||0||Roma|
|DF||Manuel Lazzari||29 November 1993||3||0||Lazio|
|DF||Andrea Cambiaso||20 February 2000||0||0||Juventus|
|7||MF||Giacomo Bonaventura||22 August 1989||17||1||Fiorentina|
|8||MF||Jorginho||20 December 1991||50||5||Arsenal|
|16||MF||Bryan Cristante||3 March 1995||38||2||Roma|
|17||MF||Davide Frattesi||22 September 1999||11||4||Inter Milan|
|18||MF||Nicolò Barella||7 February 1997||51||8||Inter Milan|
|MF||Andrea Colpani||11 May 1999||0||0||Monza|
|9||FW||Gianluca Scamacca||1 January 1999||15||1||Atalanta|
|10||FW||Giacomo Raspadori||18 February 2000||24||6||Napoli|
|11||FW||Moise Kean||28 February 2000||15||4||Juventus|
|14||FW||Federico Chiesa||25 October 1997||44||7||Juventus|
|19||FW||Matteo Politano||3 August 1993||12||3||Napoli|
|20||FW||Nicolò Zaniolo||2 July 1999||17||2||Aston Villa|
|22||FW||Stephan El Shaarawy||27 October 1992||31||7||Roma|
|FW||Domenico Berardi||1 August 1994||28||8||Sassuolo|
The following players have also been called up for the team within the last twelve months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Alex Meret||22 March 1997||3||0||Napoli||v. North Macedonia, 17 November 2023 INJ|
|DF||Alessandro Bastoni||13 April 1999||21||1||Inter Milan||v. North Macedonia, 17 November 2023 INJ|
|DF||Rafael Tolói||10 October 1990||14||0||Atalanta||v. North Macedonia, 17 November 2023 INJ|
|DF||Davide Calabria||6 December 1996||7||0||AC Milan||v. North Macedonia, 17 November 2023 INJ|
|DF||Giorgio Scalvini||11 December 2003||7||0||Atalanta||v. England, 17 October 2023|
|DF||Destiny Udogie||28 November 2002||2||0||Tottenham Hotspur||v. England, 17 October 2023|
|DF||Leonardo Spinazzola||25 March 1993||24||0||Roma||v. Ukraine, 12 September 2023|
|DF||Alessio Romagnoli||12 January 1995||13||2||Lazio||v. Ukraine, 12 September 2023|
|DF||Nicolò Casale||14 February 1998||0||0||Lazio||v. Ukraine, 12 September 2023|
|DF||Leonardo Bonucci||1 May 1987||121||8||Union Berlin||v. Netherlands, 18 June 2023|
|DF||Alessandro Florenzi||11 March 1991||49||2||AC Milan||v. Spain, 15 June 2023 PRE|
|DF||Federico Baschirotto||20 September 1996||0||0||Lecce||v. Spain, 15 June 2023 PRE|
|DF||Emerson Palmieri||3 August 1994||29||0||West Ham United||v. Malta, 26 March 2023|
|MF||Manuel Locatelli||8 January 1998||26||3||Juventus||v. North Macedonia, 17 November 2023 INJ|
|MF||Sandro Tonali||8 May 2000||15||0||Newcastle United||v. Malta, 14 October 2023|
|MF||Matteo Pessina||21 April 1997||16||5||Monza||v. Ukraine, 12 September 2023|
|MF||Lorenzo Pellegrini||19 June 1996||26||5||Roma||v. North Macedonia, 9 September 2023 INJ|
|MF||Marco Verratti||5 November 1992||55||3||Al-Arabi||v. Netherlands, 18 June 2023|
|FW||Riccardo Orsolini||24 January 1997||5||2||Bologna||v. England, 17 October 2023|
|FW||Mattia Zaccagni||16 June 1995||3||0||Lazio||v. Malta, 14 October 2023 INJ|
|FW||Ciro Immobile||20 February 1990||57||17||Lazio||v. Ukraine, 12 September 2023|
|FW||Wilfried Gnonto||5 November 2003||13||1||Leeds United||v. Ukraine, 12 September 2023|
|FW||Mateo Retegui||29 April 1999||4||2||Genoa||v. Ukraine, 12 September 2023|
|FW||Vincenzo Grifo||7 April 1993||9||4||SC Freiburg||v. Malta, 26 March 2023|
|FW||Simone Pafundi||14 March 2006||1||0||Udinese||v. Malta, 26 March 2023|
INJ Withdrew due to injury
Most capped players
As of 17 November 2023, the players with the most appearances for Italy are:
|Daniele De Rossi||117||21||2004–2017|
Players in bold are still active in the national football team.
|1||Gigi Riva (list)||35||42||0.83||1965–1974|
|Alessandro Del Piero||91||0.3||1995–2008|
Players in bold are still active in the national football team.
- 1910 Francesco Calì
- 1911–1914 Giuseppe Milano
- 1914–1915 Virgilio Fossati
- 1920–1925 Renzo De Vecchi
- 1925–1927 Luigi Cevenini
- 1927–1930 Adolfo Baloncieri
- 1931–1934 Umberto Caligaris
- 1934 Gianpiero Combi
- 1935–1936 Luigi Allemandi
- 1937–1939 Giuseppe Meazza
- 1940–1947 Silvio Piola
- 1947–1949 Valentino Mazzola
- 1949–1950 Riccardo Carapellese
- 1951–1952 Carlo Annovazzi
- 1952–1960 Giampiero Boniperti
- 1961–1962 Lorenzo Buffon
- 1962–1963 Cesare Maldini
- 1963–1966 Sandro Salvadore
- 1966–1977 Giacinto Facchetti
- 1977–1983 Dino Zoff
- 1983–1985 Marco Tardelli
- 1985–1986 Gaetano Scirea
- 1986–1987 Antonio Cabrini
- 1988–1991 Giuseppe Bergomi
- 1991–1994 Franco Baresi
- 1994–2002 Paolo Maldini
- 2002–2010 Fabio Cannavaro[nb 1]
- 2010–2018 Gianluigi Buffon[nb 2]
- 2018–2022 Giorgio Chiellini
- 2022–2023 Leonardo Bonucci
- 2023– Ciro Immobile
For the all-time record, see Italy national football team all-time record.
Tournament played fully or partially on home soilChampions Runners-up Third place
FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||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|
|2018||Did not qualify||12||7||3||2||21||9|
|2026||To be determined||To be determined|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out.
|Italy's World Cup record|
26th place in 2010 (group stage)
UEFA European Championship
|UEFA European Championship record||Qualification record|
|1960||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1964||Did not qualify||4||2||1||1||8||3|
|1972||Did not qualify||8||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|
|2028||To be determined||To be determined|
|2032||Qualified as co-hosts||Qualified as co-hosts|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out.
|Italy's European Championship record|
10th place in 1996 (group stage)
UEFA Nations League
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2018–19||A||3||2nd||4||1||2||1||2||2||8th||2019||Did not qualify|
|2024–25||A||To be determined||2025||To be determined|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out.
|Italy's UEFA Nations League record|
8th place in 2018–19
FIFA Confederations Cup
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|1992||No European team participated|
|1995||Did not qualify|
|2003||Did not enter[a]|
|2005||Did not qualify|
|2017||Did not qualify|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out.
|Italy's Confederations Cup record|
Third place in 2013
Group stage in 2009
Central European International Cup
|Central European International Cup record|
|Central European International Cup record|
Fifth place in 1955-60
|1976 U.S.A. Bicentennial Cup Tournament||Round robin||3rd of 6||3||1||0||2||7||7|
|1980 World Champions' Gold Cup||Group stage||4th of 6||2||0||1||1||1||3|
|1985 Ciudad de México Cup Tournament||Champions||1st of 3||2||1||1||0||3||2|
|1991 Scania 100 Tournament||Champions||1st of 4||1||1||0||0||3||1|
|1992 U.S. Cup||Round-robin||2nd of 4||3||1||2||0||3||1|
|1997 Tournoi de France||Round robin||4th of 4||3||0||2||1||5||7|
|2022 Finalissima||Runners-up||2nd of 2||1||0||0||1||0||3|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out.
As of 20 November 2023, the complete official match record of the Italian national team comprises 871 matches: 464 wins, 237 draws and 170 losses. During these matches, the team scored 1,524 times and conceded 858 goals. Italy's highest winning margin is nine goals, which was achieved against the United States in 1948 (9–0). Their longest winning streak is 13 wins, and their unbeaten record is 37 consecutive official matches, a world record.
- Winners: 2007, 2022
|FIFA World Cup||4||2||1||7|
|Olympic football tournament||1||0||1||2|
|FIFA Confederations Cup||0||0||1||1|
|UEFA European Championship||2||2||0||4|
|UEFA Nations League||0||0||2||2|
|CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions||0||1||0||1|
- Italy women's national football team
- Italy national under-21 football team
- Italy national under-20 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
- Football in Italy
- Sport in Italy
- List of cultural icons of Italy
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