The Brazilians and the Italians have dominated the FIFA World Cup. The two teams have won nine of the World Cups between them which is almost half. There have been some classic matches between the teams.

1938 FIFA World Cup

It was in 1938 that the first Italy V Brazil game was played in the World Cup finals[1]. Then Italy were the defending champions. In that World Cup both teams had made it to the semifinals, and it was in that round that they played for place in the final.

In the first half neither teams broke the deadlock. But approximately 10 minutes after the interval the Italians went in front. Soon after they doubled their lead when they were given a penalty that was duly converted. A late Brazil goal with little more than three minutes left made the score 2 - 1, but there were no further goals in the game. Italy made it to another final where they would once more emerge victorious.

1970 FIFA World Cup

The 1970 FIFA World Cup was one of the most exciting played. The Brazilians had booked their place in the final with some terrific soccer in earlier rounds. In that game they would come up against an Italian side that had won a thrilling 4 - 3 victory in the semi-finals, with five of the game's goals coming during a roller coaster extra-time period.

The final was another classic. In the first half Pele headed the Brazilians in front, but the Italians later equalized to leave the score 1 - 1 at the interval. However, in the second half Brazil stepped up a gear; and within a period of a few minutes they scored twice to take a 3 - 1 lead in the game. Brazil had beaten the Italians, but they still pressed forward for more goals. The coup de grâce came in the last five minutes when Pele laid the ball up for the onrushing Alberto, who ran into the right side of the Italian box and made it four with a terrific strike that sent the ball flying into the left corner of Italy's net. It was free-flowing samba soccer at its finest as Brazil ran out 4 - 1 winners.

World Cup GoalCredit: Image licensed under public domain on Wiki Commons. 1978 FIFA World Cup

In 1978, both Brazil and Italy finished runner-ups in the second round group stages. Brazil had been edged out on goal difference, whilst Italy's defeat to Holland left them down and out of this World Cup. As there were no semifinals in this World Cup, that ensured their place in the third-place playoff game.

In that game it was the Italians that took the lead during the first half. After the interval Brazil later equalized when Nelinho struck a fantastic shot from outside the penalty area, on the right side of the box, that curled into the back of Italy's net. Within the final 20 minutes the Brazilians made it 2 - 1, and that remained the final score. As such, they clinched the bronze spot in the World Cup.

1982 FIFA World Cup

In 1982, Italy and Brazil played out an enthralling final second round match[2]. The Brazilians had played some scintillating soccer at that World Cup, and going into the game they led the group. Italy had to win the match to top the group, whilst Brazil required a draw.

Fortunately for the Italians they had Rossi in their first eleven during the game. After just five minutes the striker put Italy a goal up with a header that sent the ball into the net. But soon after Brazil leveled the scoring. Little more than 10 minutes later Rossi intercepted a pass across Brazil's goal and drilled home a second.

In the second half Brazil pressed for an equalizer. That duly came when Falcao struck from 20 yards out to make it 2 - 2. However, with little more than 15 minutes remaining Rossi re-established Italy's lead when a Brazil 'clearance' from an Italian corner sent the ball back to their six-yard line where Rossi pounced to score the winner.

The victory ensured their place in the semi-finals ahead of Brazil. Rossi scored further goals in that game, and then in the final with West Germany. As such, the Italians celebrated another World Cup triumph.

1994 FIFA World Cup

Brazil and Italy contested the 1994 World Cup final. Both teams had two of the cup's stars, with Romario and Baggio among the top goal scorers. Approximately 94,000 packed into the Rose Bowl stadium for the final.

The game was not a classic finale. After 90 minutes neither team could break the deadlock with any goals. Silva went close when his shot from outside the box rebounded off the Italian keeper and then the post, but into the hands of the goalkeeper. As such, an extra-time period extended the match; but still no goals followed.

As the game ended 0 - 0 it was the first World Cup final without a goal. It was also the first final won with a penalty shoot-out as Italy missed three of their penalties. So it was Brazil that lifted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. A more robust Brazilian team may have lacked the flair of some of their predecessors, but with a solid back four they won the trophy.

FIFA Confederations Cup

Aside from their World Cup games Italy have also played Brazil in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Then they were drawn in the same group, but Brazil were already through. Italy had to get a point to finish second, and make it to the semifinals. However, a crushing 3 - 0 defeat against Brazil ensured that the United States finished ahead of them on goal difference.

Those are the World Cup and Confederation Cup games Italy and Brazil have played between them. Along with them a few international friendly matches. Overall, the Brazilians have the better head-to-head record in the fixture. Having won both of the cup finals, a Confederation Cup game and a third-place playoff they have four victories against the Italians.