A look at a few bright spots of the last 20 years for the Italians.
Italy certainly has a storied history on the football world stage, whether it is from Serie A teams killing it in the Champions League or UEFA Cup, or more memorably, when their national team wins multiple world cups, creating nostalgia for their good denizens. Certainly, the Azzurri have had their big moments. Let’s revisit some of the biggest in their national history.
Roberto Baggio at World Cup 1994
You would need a long highlight reel to capture all of his brilliance during this tournament, his infamous Final penalty kick notwithstanding. That famous mullet of his fuelled his equaliser in the dying minutes against Nigeria, only to upstage that moment with his extra-time game winner in the same match. Against Spain in the win or go home stages of the final eight, it was his foot that brought home the 2-1 winner. And to get his team to the Final, it was he who scored a deuce on his Bulgarian opponents. One of the all-time greatest performances in World Cup history.
Fabio Cannavaro at World Cup 2006
Sticking with an overall body of work throughout an entire tourney, the captain of this World Cup winning squad made headlines for the Azzurri by ultimately winning the Silver Ball award given to the most outstanding player in Germany. He was a foundation in his ability to clear balls, win headers against opposing attackers and midfielders, and setting into motion his own team’s offense. When your team only concedes goals on an own-goal and a penalty, you know you have a stalwart defence, and that was exemplified by one Fabio Cannavaro.
Fabio Grosso’s semi-final and Final Goals at World Cup 2006
As part of Italy’s magical run in Germany, Grosso powered them through the final stages in some crucial moments. After a tie game in the semi-final game at the end of extra time with the host country (and the sound of hundreds of thousands of fans screaming for them to go through), Grosso struck magic. The goalkeeper, Lehmann, had not a chance as he watched ball go into the right side of the net after a Pirlo feed for the setup. Against the favoured Germans, not even a new casino savant who had the luck of never losing once at www.newcasinosonline.org could have predicted the Italian fortune in this game. Then, against a strong French squad in the Final, during the highest of all stakes penalty shootout, Grosso stepped up big. The man with nerves of steel had a perfect strike right in the top right corner which signalled another World Cup trophy for the Azzurri.