Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments

Sat 17 September 2022 | 15:30

Italy is famous for its food, culture, and historical buildings, but most people fail to consider its rich history in football and especially the world cup. Now that we are awaiting this grand tournament, it is only right to take a look at Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments.

Italy made an outstanding start at Euro 2020, reaffirming the nation's status as a global soccer force. For the first time since 1958, Italy's failure to make the 2018 FIFA World Cup was terrible for the country, but there may be some silver lining in this particular cloud. Italy has topped Group A of the Euro 2020 tournament with back-to-back 3-0 victories over Turkey and Switzerland.

The Azzurri quickly began to turn things around under new manager Roberto Mancini, who took over six months after the World Cup disaster in a playoff loss to Sweden. With 11 straight wins, they broke the Italian national team record.

Given their illustrious past, it goes without saying that they are one of the greatest teams of the world, even though they failed to find their way to 

World Cup 2022

in Qatar. But the Azzurri undoubtedly made history in every other World Cup they have competed. To the point that there is a list of Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments which we will soon explore.

A list of Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments

Although Italy failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, many still remember it as one of the gretaest teams of the tournament. Why is that? Becuase of all the great moments that the team has created and you can find these by doing a quick search on the web. You know what? Let's relive

Italy's greatest World Cup Moments


First win – 1934

Starting the list of Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments with Italy's first world cup triumph.

Italy was the second host nation to win the second FIFA World Cup, following Uruguay, held at home in Rome. In Round 16, Italy thrashed the USA 7-1 to start the tournament. Raimundo Orsi scored twice, while Angelo Schiavo scored a hat trick.

The choice was more difficult in the quarterfinals. Despite a 1-1 draw between Italy and Spain, the Azzurri won the penalty shootout to proceed. The sole goal in the semifinal victory over Austria came in the 19th minute and came from Enrico Guaita.

In the 71st minute of the final against Czechoslovakia, Antonin Puc gave the Czechs the lead. The 81st-minute goal by Orsi prompted extra time. The winning

World Cup

goal was scored by Schiavo in the 95th minute creating one of

Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments


The greatest extra time

The West Germans were both featured in the two most exciting overtime sessions. The first was the contest against France in 1982, and the second was against Italy in 1970. The 1970 encounter has been referred to be the game of the century because of the thrilling atmosphere of the extra time.

A semifinal game took place in the magnificent Azteca Stadium, which had just opened. Italy had one of the Greatest Italian XI that year. Italy got the game off in the best possible way and seized the lead after only eight minutes. Then, Italy reverted to its standard defensive strategies, and it appeared that one goal would be plenty.

Franz Beckenbauer

was hauled down on the perimeter of the area with only a few minutes left. The Germans believed they got a penalty, but the official ruled that the infraction occurred outside of the penalty area. Beckenbauer dislocated his shoulder yet nevertheless managed to continue playing, adding insult to injury.

It appeared that was it, as the German freekick missed the target. Karl-Heinz Schnellinger would tie it up with a goal with a few seconds remaining, though. The Italians were crushed, and extra time was required to finish the game.

Chaos reigned throughout the extra time. To give the Germans the lead, Gerd Muller took advantage of a poor error by the Italian defense. Italy appeared to be lost. Tarcisio Burgnich, though, equalized in the following four minutes, putting the Italians back in the game. Italy regained the lead just before halftime, thanks to a goal by Luigi Riva.

For the last 15 minutes of this tense game, the Azteca audience was riveted to their seats. There were yet more detours in store.


restored the score's parity. At this moment, the crowd's fervor reached a fever pitch. The victory was announced almost immediately after the kickoff.

Gianni Rivera, an Italian midfielder, would score it. He turned in a low cross past Sepp Maier while unmarked in the area to make it 4-3. Even though there were still nine minutes left, the scoring would come to a stop.

While the players were too worn out to move, the Italian manager ran frantically about the field after the game. It had the most scoring ever, with five goals scored in extra time. Although Italy would ultimately lose to


, their semifinal matchup with West Germany was among the most exciting in sports history.

Rossi Returns 1982

The tale of Paolo Rossi is the most spectacular in Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments. Rossi was regarded as one of the top attackers in the world in the late 1970s. He would, however, get embroiled in one of the largest scandals in soccer history in 1980.

While playing for Perugia, Rossi was implicated in a match-fixing controversy and received a two-year suspension from football.

The general consensus was that Rossi would never be heard from again. But it turned out that wasn't the case. Just days after his suspension expired, Italian manager Enzo Bearzot included him on Italy's World Cup team, shocking the football world.

Rossi had a terrible competition debut due to his very rusty abilities. Italy just made it to the second Round after their first three games, in which he failed to score. People were enraged that Bearzot had picked Rossi, which put an unbelievable amount of pressure on him.

In the following game, Italy played well and defeated


. But they would have to defeat Brazil, the strongest team in the world, in their final encounter of the second Round. At this point, Rossi's and the Italian team's fortunes would change.

One of the most enduringly unforgettable World Cup performances ever came from Rossi, putting him among Greatest Italian XI. He scored a hat trick in a 3-2 victory, which was the only way Italy could have won the game. Nobody was able to accept it. Everyone pondered the origin of the performance.


alone created one of

Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments


Rossi continued his excellent performance throughout the remainder of the competition, aiming to show that it was not an isolated incident. He had two goals in the semifinals, one in the championship, and six overall to earn the Golden Boot. There was no question about who the hero was as Italy went on to win their third World Cup.

The 1982 World Cup drastically changed Rossi's life. After retiring, he enjoyed considerable success in Italian club football and a lucrative real estate career. After the World Cup, Rossi rose to fame as a major celebrity, and everyone in Italy forgot about his involvement in the controversy.

Glory for Grosso - 2006 semifinal

Italy faced the host nation


in the semifinals of 2006. The game was a fantastic event. Despite multiple excellent opportunities that were produced by both teams, the game would amazingly remain scoreless until the very last seconds.

The only time either side came close to scoring was when Italy twice hit the woodwork in overtime. It appeared as though the game might end in penalties. The Germans would have enthusiastically welcomed them, given the history of penalties between Germany and Italy. Fabio Grosso would drive a stake into the hearts of the host country with a minute left, though.

Italy successfully claimed a corner kick and rushed numerous players up the field in an effort to score. The German defenders headed the original corner away, but it was received by

Andrea Pirlo

. Pirlo managed to keep possession of the ball and send a precise pass to Grosso that managed to go past four German defenders.

Grosso used the inside of his foot to make the initial contact and create one of Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments. The curler that defeated Jens Lehmann was exquisite.

Following the goal, there followed a brief period of pure euphoria for Italians all around the world. Grosso, who ran madly around the field shouting for delight, led the nation in frenzied celebration. Later on, he was nominated in Greatest Italian XI.

Alessandro Del Piero scored the second goal to make it 2-0 right after that. In the championship, Grosso would once more emerge as the hero after converting the go-ahead penalty. His goal was one of the most iconic in World Cup history and the most recent semifinal winner.

1982 World Cup triumph

We have already talked about this, but with more focus on Rossi and not the world cup and one of Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments.

The Italians advanced to the semifinals in 1978. Bearzot stuck with his strategy rather than changing it up. Italy entered Spain in 1982 as a contender, giving the tournament a boost.

However, the Azzurri had a reputation for being hesitant to play. The Italians came close to being eliminated early on after three draws in three "Group 1" games.

They were only saved by scoring more goals than Cameroon, who also had three draws in that group. Enzo Bearzot received harsh criticism for producing mediocre outcomes, especially after implementing a plan that promised spontaneity.

Players essentially had a variety of duties that alternated between offensive and defense. Forwards also had the duty of regaining possession as soon as possible in the final third if they lost it.

The astute manager recognized that showing his breadth of vision required patience. Therefore,

Enzo Bearzot

and his compliant team ignored the punditocracy's claims that Italy played slowly. Instead, they concentrated on the main goal—winning the World Cup.

Italy became the first back-to-back World Cup winner in 1934-1938

The best of Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments is not a moment but consists of two consequent world cups.

Italy became the first country to win back-to-back World Cups in France four years later. The only manager to win back-to-back World Cups is Vittorio Pozzo.

In the Round of 16 matchups against Norway, Pietro Ferraris' first-minute goal gave Italy the perfect start. Seven minutes from the end, the Norwegians tied it, and extra time was added to the game. In the 94th minute, Silvio Piola scored to seal the victory.

In the quarterfinals, Italy upset the hosts by defeating France 3-1. Piola notched two goals, and Gino Colaussi added one. Brazil was defeated 2-1 in the semifinals by Meazza's penalty kick in the 60th minute. Colaussi assisted Italy in creating the best of Italy's Greatest World Cup Moments.

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