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Great Italy V France Soccer Games

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Italy and France have had some great soccer teams in the FIFA World Cup and European Championship. They have played a number of games in both cups, including finals. In addition, they've played other games in international soccer fixtures in France and Italy. These are the World Cup and European Championship encounters between the two teams.

First World Cup Game

In was on French soil that Italy played France in the 1938 World Cup. The largest attendance of that World Cup flocked to Paris for this quarter-final clash between the hosts and world champions. The Italians took an early lead, but that lead last little longer than a minute as France soon equalized. In the second half a couple of Italian goals sealed a 3 - 1 victory for Italy en route to further cup glory.

1978 FIFA World Cup

In the 1978 FIFA World Cup, Italy and France were in the same group. It was their opening game of the cup. The Italian team included 1982 hero Rossi in their lineup, and Platini made his World Cup début for France. France scored in the first minute when the ball was crossed to Lacombe, who headed the ball into the back of Italy's net within the box. It was a great start, but Rossi equalized for the Italians in the first half. In the second another Italian goal made it 2 - 1 to Italy, and that remained the final score.

1986 FIFA World Cup

When Italy and France met in the 1986 World Cup, the Italians were world champions. But France were the European champions, so two great teams played in the second round. The French had more flair, and with Platini in their lineup were the better team in this game. Platini put them a goal up in the first half, and they held the lead up to halftime. After the interval they doubled the lead and ran out 2 - 0 winners.

1998 FIFA World Cup

At the 1998 World Cup France were the hosts, and included stars such as Zidane, Henry and Vieira in their team. It was a terrific France team, but the Italians still had some great players in their side. Both teams were solid at the back, and during this quarter-final clash neither could score. As such, the game went to penalties; a shoot-out in which France emerged victorious en route to cup glory.

Euro 2000 Final

France were the world champs when they took on Italy in this Euro 2000 final. However, it was Italy that took the lead in the final shortly after the interval. After falling behind the French pressed for an equalizer, but the Italians also had chances to extend their lead as Del Piero was played through clear on goal.

In the final minutes France equalized to send the game into extra-time. A Golden Goal won the match during the extra-time period. Then the ball was played to Trezeguet from the left, and with a sweet volley the ball flew into the roof of Italy's net. It was a great winning goal for France which won them another European Championship.

World Cup Final

Few predicted France and Italy would be in the 2006 World Cup final. Brazil and Argentina were among the favorites, but France and Italy did not lose any games and defeated Germany, Brazil and Spain during the cup. Henry, Zidane and Del Piero were among their stars.

In the final Zidane gave France an early lead from the penalty spot. However, the Italians equalized from a corner-kick played into the box and headed into the back of France's net. The first half ended 1- 1, and neither team scored a winning goal during the second half.

As such, the game went to a penalty shoot-out after extra-time. Italy scored all their penalties, which ensured another cup triumph.

2008 European Championship

France and Italy actually played three games in the championships. Two of those were in the same qualification group. In Italy neither team scored as the match ended 0 - 0. However, France beat Italy 3 - 1 at home, but the victory was not enough to ensure that they finished ahead of the Italians in the group.

Both teams made it to the finals and were in the same group. Holland dominated the group, leaving France and Italy to play for second spot. The teams met in the final group game, and in the first half Italy went in front from the penalty spot. As France also had a player sent off, they played out the second half with 10 men. A second Italian goal ensured victory for the Italians as the match ended 2 - 0. As such, they went through to the quarter-finals.

Overall, they have played 37 games between them. With 18 victories to France's nine Italy have won most of them. In the World Cup and European Championship games the record is Italy four - France four.

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