If you know anything about Football, you already know that Italy is a major player in the game – in fact, football is the most popular sport in Italy. Italian football (or football in Italy) is referred to as calcio as opposed to football in most other parts of the world and soccer in the North Americas. Italy’s football skills are almost unrivaled in the league and the nation is in fact known for having the second most FIFA World Cup wins. The national football team of Italy has won the FIFA World Cup a total of 4 times – that’s just one less than Brazil that currently hold five World Cups. With over 27 major European trophies, Italy is definitely the most successful European nation when it comes down to football.
The national football team of Italy is controlled by the Italian Football Federation (or FIGC) – which is basically the governing body for all football play in Italy. The first official game played by the team was against France in 1910, where they conquered 6-2. Besides the four World Cup Wins (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), Italy has also won one European championship, one Olympic football tournament, and two Central European International Cups – making the team the second most successful national football team in the history of the world.
So, what does the team wear today? Well, they go by the traditional color, which is azure blue – the color that is originally linked to the royal dynasty which is directly responsible for the unification of Italy in 1861.
Even to this day, Italy continues to be a dominating team in the world of football (or calcio as they call it). Perhaps the most remembered moment of Italy’s last World Cup against France in 2006 was the head-butt by French player Zidane, which cost him a fine from the FIFA federation.
After the last World Cup victory, the manager of the team, Marcello Lippi stepped down and was replaced by Cesare Prandelli – who continues to manage the team today. Prandelli lead the team to a record of 6-3-0 which was equivalent to Italy’s record back in 2002 of nine undefeated games (under manager Giovanni Trapattoni). At the beginning of the second season under Prandelli, Italy beat World champions Spain 2-1 in a friendly match.
Assisting Prandelli in his coaching is the assistant coach Gabriele Pin – who has also made several significant contributions to the team’s gameplay. The team captain is Gianluigi Buffon – the goalkeeper of the team. Additionally, the top scorer on the Italian football team is former star Luigi Riva – with 35 goals in just 42 matches, he remains to this day the top scorer of the team. At this moment, Italy stands at a FIFA rank of 9 – and has held the #1 spot several times in the past.