Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport World Cup 2002

 You are in: Team Pages: Italy  
Front Page
Statistics
Team Pages
Features
Other News
Sports Talk
TV/Radio Coverage
Photo Galleries
Venues Guide
Matches Wallchart
World Cup Greats
History
Quiz

BBC Sport

BBC News

BBC Weather


Click on a name for more detailed team information:

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
China
Costa Rica
Croatia
Denmark
Ecuador
England
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Nigeria
Paraguay
Poland
Portugal
Rep of Ireland
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Tunisia
Turkey
USA
Uruguay

Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
When Italy ruled the world
Italy players lift up their coach Vittorio Pozzo after winning the FIFA World Cup Final in 1934
Italy secured their first trophy with a win over Czechoslovakia
Italy can boast a proud World Cup record that includes three victories and puts them second only to Brazil in the all-time list of achievement.

But it could be said that the best days of the Azzurri are long gone.

In two of the three tournaments that took place before World War Two they were crowned champions.

Manager Vittorio Pozzo led Italy to victory on home soil in 1934 and then repeated the trick four years later in France.

The undoubted star of his team was Inter Milan striker Guiseppe "Peppino" Meazza, who ended his career with 33 goals in 53 appearances.

Italy captain Giuseppe Meazza (left) shakes hands with Hungary captain Gyorgy Sarosi (right) before the FIFA World Cup Final played in Paris
Italy beat Hungary 4-2 to claim the World Cup in 1938

Pozzo pulled off a masterstroke by moving Meazza from centre-forward to inside-forward, and the goals flowed.

Italy were forced to qualify for the tournament they hosted in 1934, sweeping past Greece 4-0 to set up a first-round clash with the United States.

The second World Cup finals saw 16 teams compete in a knockout system and Italy began in style, Meazza scoring the final goal in a 7-1 win over the US.

A brutal clash with Spain followed in the quarter-finals and after a 1-1 draw in Florence, a solitary strike from Meazza took Italy through.

He did the same again in the semi-final with Austria, played in torrential rain at Milan's San Siro stadium.

Goalkeeper Giampero Combi was another of Italy's star players and he was captain for the final against Czechoslovakia in Rome.

Late winner

Things looked bleak for the home side when Antonio Puc put the Czechs ahead after 70 minutes with a fierce shot.

But Raimundo Orsi equalised soon after and Schiavio put the home crowd out of their misery with an extra-time winner.

Mussolini's propaganda gamble had paid off, although not without a few scares along the way.

Fifa's decision to take the 1938 World Cup to France did not go down well with the South American countries, who felt it was their turn.

As a result only Brazil made the trip to France from South America, and they made quite an impact by beating Poland 6-5 in a dramatic first-round match.

Italy also made hard work of their initial encounter, coming through 2-1 in extra-time despite a late disallowed effort from Norway.

Italy celebrate after winning in 1938
Italy would have to wait another 44 years before winning the World Cup again

The quarter-final looked to be a tricky tie with hosts France but two second-half strikes from Silvio Piola secured a 3-1 win.

Brazilian coach Adheniar Pimenta made the audacious move of resting top striker Leonidas in the semi-final, and the decision proved to be a serious mistake.

A Meazza penalty on the hour put Italy two ahead and Brazil could only manage a late consolation.

Ahead of the final with Hungary in Paris, Italian manager Pozzo abandoned the team's first attempt to get to the stadium because crowds were blocking the streets.

When the match got underway, Gino Colaussi quickly put Italy ahead with a fierce volley.

Hungary equalized two minutes later, but further strikes from Piola and Colaussi again put Italy in command at the break.

Again they were pegged back, but with eight minutes remaining Piola secured the match, and the title of player of the tournament for himself, by completing a 4-2 victory.

Pozzo's Italy were a tough, uncompromising side who were the equal of any opposition at the physical aspects of the game.

But in players like Meazza, Piola Combi and Giovanni Ferrari, they had players who remain World Cup legends to this day.

And their achievement of winning successive World Cups has been equalled only once, by the Brazil of Pele and Garrincha.

INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
TOP STORIES FROM
ITALY
 TEAMS
 ITALY
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have Your Say
 SQUAD PROFILE
 RESULTS/REPORTS

GROUP G
  P GD PTS
MEXICO 3 +2 7
ITALY 3 +1 4
CROATIA 3 -1 3
ECUADOR 3 -2 3

 WATCH/LISTEN
 BBC SPORT BULLETINS
 OUR BEST AUDIO
More Audio/Video




© BBC ^ Back to top

Front Page | Statistics | Team Pages | Features | Other News | Sports Talk | TV/Radio Coverage | Photo Galleries | Venues Guide | Matches Wallchart | World Cup Greats | History | Quiz

BBC Sport >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
BBC World Service >> | BBC Radio Five Live >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy