The Italian national team has played in most of the FIFA World Cups dating back to the 1930s. They have won the trophy four times, and only Brazil has a better record. There have been some classic World Cup matches which have included the Italian national team, and these are just a few of the more notable.
Italy V Czechoslovakia: 1934 World Cup
Italy hosted the cup in 1934, and their team made steady progress toward the final. Then they only had to win three games to reach the final, as there were fewer teams in the cup. In their first final the Italians came up against Czechoslovakia, and most of the 55,000 at the stadium were home fans. The first half in this game was goalless, but in the second both teams went for goal. However, it was Czechoslovakia who went in front first when Puc scored; but Italy struck back just 10 minutes later. Italy scored a decisive second in the extra-time period which won the game 2 - 1. Although probably not a classic final, it began a golden era for Italian soccer as Italy went on to lift the 1938 cup.
Italy V West Germany: 1970 World Cup
The Italians were among the best teams in the 1970 cup. They came up against West Germany in the semifinals, and led the majority of the match after Boninsegna put them a goal up early in the first half. There were no further goals until Germany equalized in the final minutes. In extra-time the ball flew into the German and Italian nets with Muller putting Germans 2 - 1 up, but a few minutes later it was 2 - 2 after the Italians equalized. The Italians then went ahead, but Muller scored Germany's third goal in the match to equalize. However, just a minute or so later the Italians scored again with a fine cross finding Boninsegna to score the winner. Italy was victorious after an enthralling extra-time period. In a great final they lost 4 - 1 to Brazil.
Brazil V Italy: 1982 FIFA World Cup
In this 1982 game Italy had to beat the Brazilians to make the semifinals. Brazil just needed a point, and were the most likely team to make it through. However, in this classic match Rossi inspired Italy to victory. Rossi headed home Italy's first goal from close range to put them 1 - 0 up before Socrates grabbed an equalizer for the Brazilians. Then Italy went a goal up after a sloppy Brazil pass made its way to Rossi within their half who ran on to fire home the second. But Brazil were not finished, and equalized again with a great Falcao strike from the edge of the Italian box. Rossi completed a hat-trick within the final 20 minutes of the game with a goal from close range that made it 3 - 2 to Italy, and the goal ensured that they won the 1982 FIFA World Cup as they defeated West Germany in the final 3 - 1.
Italy V Germany: 2006 FIFA World Cup
Italy played the Germans in the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup. As this cup was in Germany most of the crowd were Germans. Whilst the game remained goalless within the 90 minutes, the Italians emerged victorious with two stunning strikes in extra-time. With just a few minutes remaining Italy took the lead after Grosso curled the ball into the back of the German net. Minutes later Del Piero finished an Italian counter with a chip into the corner of the German goal. It was a great finish to an absorbing semifinal, and the goals ensured another Italian triumph as they defeated France in the final.
These are a few of the great Italy games in the World Cup. Four great victories for the Italians set them on course for FIFA World Cup glory, with the exception of their game with West Germany. But that was still a fantastic match with a glut of goals in extra-time.