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European International Tops

Forza Italia / Andrea Pirlo

We’re looking at Italy’s route to the 2020 final and a look back at their last major final victory in 2006.

Italy are going to be playing in the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley tonight and what better way to get you in the mood than having a read at this.

Winners of four World Cups and a European Championship, Italy have always been one of the best in the world but over the last few years it hasn’t been easy supporting the Italian National Team. In 2018, Italy dropped down to 14th in the FIFA world rankings after failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. After failure to qualify, Italy would start their rebuild by hiring manager Roberto Mancini and haven’t looked back since.

Starting off the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Turkey and then another 3-0 win over Switzerland saw Italy qualify with one group game to spare but a 1-0 win over Wales saw Italy become the only team this tournament to qualify through the group without conceding a goal.

They haven’t had an easy route to the final either after beating Austria 2-1 after extra time, Belgium 2-1 and Spain 4-2 on penalties, they thoroughly deserve their place in this final.

Looking back to Italy’s last major trophy takes us back to the 2006 World Cup that was played in Germany. When you think about this final, two things come to mind. The first being Zinedine Zidane’s famous headbutt and the second being Andrea Pirlo’s man of the match performance. Beating France in penalties after full time ended 1-1 with Pirlo taking one of Italy’s penalties. France scored in the 9th minute after Zidane converted a penalty into Gigi Buffon. Italy equalised not long after in the 19th minute with Marco Materazzi scoring from an excellent delivery from an Andrea Pirlo corner.

Andrea Pirlo is not only one of Italy’s greatest ever players but is regarded as one of the best deep lying playmakers ever. Capped 114 times for Italy, Pirlo has played for Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus, going on to manage The Old Lady for the 20/21 season.

This jersey comes from Italy’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Northern Ireland. The Italian’s left with a draw after an excellent effort from the Northern Irish forcing a 0-0 stalemate.

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