Saturday, July 02, 2016

Germany-Italy football history

Finally some real matches: Germany-Italy in the quarterfinal of the Euro 2016. Another chapter in one of the greatest rivalries in football.
The sides played for the first time in 1923 (with an Italian 3-1 victory) and have since played one another 33 times, with 15 victories for Italy and 8 for Germany. Their first important match was in the 1962 World Cup Group stages (0-0), and their second important confrontation was in the 1970 World Cup semifinal, one of the greatest World Cup matches of all time, when Italy won 4-3 after extra time, and went on to lose the World Cup final to the greatest Brazilian side of all time.
In 1978 the sides again played 0-0 in the World Cup Group stages, but four years later came another legendary clash in the 1982 World Cup final, when Italy won 3-1 (and who does not remember Marco Tardelli's celebration?). In the 2006 World Cup, in Germany, Italy defeated the hosts in the semi-final 0-2, and went on to become World Champions.
Germany has never defeated Italy in a World Cup.
Their Euro history is much more recent: first time they played was in the 1988 group stages, when it ended 1-1, and in the 1996 group stages it ended 0-0 (and Germany later won the tournament). In the 2012 European Championships the two sides clashed in the semifinals, and Italy won 2-1 on two goals by Mario Balotelli, and then went on to lose the final to Spain.
Germany has never defeated Italy in a European Championship.

History is against Germany today. But if any side has defeated history in the last two years it is Germany. That said, they will be facing an Italian side that has all odds to continue having the upper hand against the Germans.
Whatever happens, it will be football history.

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