Italy and Germany are facing each other in a World Cup Semifinal tonight. Germany seem favourites, playing at home in front of a record crowd. But what does history tell us about these encounters?
They have met each other six times in either World Cups or European Championships. Of these, three have ended 0-0, one has ended 1-1, while Italy has won the remaining two matches. So it does not look good for Germany...
- First Round, Chile, 1962: This ended 0-0. West Germany won the group, only to be eliminated by Yugoslavia in the Quarterfinals. Italy ended dead last in the group
- Semifinal, Mexico , 1970: One of the most exciting games in the history of football. Italy was very unpopular, having played some of the most boring catenaccio ever seen. The ordinary game ended 1-1, and the match went into extra time. The Germans, wanting to solve it, attacked fervently. But for every attack and goal, the Italians replied back with another goal. Italy won 4-3, but were destroyed 4-1 in the final against the mighty Brazilians.
- Second round, 1978: Another 0-0 match. Italy made it to the bronze game, where they lost to Brazil, while the Germans did not make it beyond round 2.
- Final, 1982: An all-European final in an all-European World Cup (like this one). Italy had defeated Brazil, and seemed strong ahead of the Germans, who had become unpopular after their win against the charming French in the semifinal. The Italians were far better than the Germans, who only managed a late goal by Breitner after being down 3-0.
In the European Championships they have met twice:
- First round, 1988: This tournament took place in Germany. In the opening match, the home team only managed a 1-1, with goals by Brehme and Mancini. Both Germany and Italy went on to the semifinal, where they lost to the Netherlands and USSR respectively.
- First Round, 1996: Another of their 0-0 matches. It was enough for Germany to win the group, while Italy was sqeezed out after losing to the surprising Czechs. Germany played the Czech Republic in the final and became European Champions.
With this said, what is my prediction for tonight? 0-0.
The game will be an absolute bore, so don't bother to watch until the penalty kicks, which Germany will win (and take their first ever win against the Italians in a World Cup).