Italy at the World Cup
The Italian football team, called the 'Azzurri', have been World Cup Champions four times: 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006. In their most recent World Cup in 2014, Italy were surprisingly eliminated at the group stage, and in 2018 Italy couldn't score in 180 minutes of football against Sweden in their play-off, failing to qualify for the first time since 1958. In 2022, Italy again failed to qualify.
- Italy's World Cup 1934 player Allemandi was once banned from football for life for accepting a bribe. The Juventus player was found to have accepted a 50,000-Lire payment to cheat in a match against Torino. However, he was later re-instated and chosen as captain of the Italian national team in World Cup 1934.
- Italian player Raimondo Orsi went back to the stadium the day after the 1934 Final to demonstrate his spectacular curling shot, as the press photographers wanted to take a picture of Orsi's swerving shot that had turned into a winning goal in the Final. He tried more than 20 times to repeat that splendid shot on the same spot, but failed each time.
- As Italian skipper Peppino Meazza scored the penalty kick in a 1938 Semi-final, his shorts, torn earlier in the game, slipped down to leave him exposed. His celebrating team-mates surrounded him until a new pair of shorts were produced.
- Right before the Italy and Hungary 1938 Final match, the Italian players received a telegraph from Rome which read 'Win or die!' Fortunately the team won and did not have to find out if it was a hoax or not.
- The only manager to win successive World Cups was Italy's Vittorio Pozzo in 1934 and 1938.
- Because of World War II, the World Cup was not held between 1938 and 1950. As a result, Italy were the reigning World Cup holders for a record 16 years leading up to the 1950 World Cup.
- Eight Italian internationals were killed in an air crash shortly before the 1950 finals, in the Superga air disaster.
- Italian Striker Gianfranco Zola was sent off on 28th birthday, when he played in a 1994 finals match. He was sent off in the 76th minute in a Second Round match against Nigeria on 5 July 1994. Italy won the match 2-1 and went on to reach the Final.
- Italy surprisingly failed to advance past the first stage of the 2010 World Cup. They were the winners of the previous World Cup in 2006.
- About the women's team from Italy at the FIFA Women's World Cup
- List of all countries who have participated in the World Cup
- FIFA World Cup Home
- About Sport in Italy