Germany–Italy football rivalry

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Italy - Germany Rivalry
Commemorative plaque Aztec Stadium.jpg
Commemorative plaque at Estadio Azteca (Mexico City) for the Game of the Century
Teams  Germany
First meeting Italy 3–1 Germany
(1 January 1923)
Latest meeting Italy 0–0 Germany
(15 November 2016)
Meetings total 35
Most wins Italy (15)
Germany (8)
Largest victory 3 games (3 goal difference)
Largest goal scoring Germany 5–2 Italy
(26 November 1939)
Italy 4–3 Germany (a.e.t)
(17 June 1970)

The Germany–Italy football rivalry between the national football teams of Germany and Italy, the two most successful football nations in Europe and only behind Brazil internationally, is a long-running one. Overall, the two teams have won eight FIFA World Cup championships (four each) and made a total of fourteen appearances in the final of the tournament (eight for Germany and six for Italy) – more than all the other European nations combined. They have played against each other five times in the World Cup, and many of these matches have been notable in the history of the tournament. "Game of the Century", the 1970 semifinal between the two countries that Italy won 4–3 in extra time, was so dramatic that it is commemorated by a plaque at the entrance of the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

Germany has also won three European Championships while Italy has won it once. The two countries have faced each other four times in the European championship, with three draws (one German penalty shoot-out victory) and one Italian victory.

While Germany has won more international championships, Italy is largely dominant in the head-to-head international match-up, having beaten Germany 15 times in 35 games, with 12 draws and 8 defeats.[1] Moreover, Germany had never defeated Italy in a major tournament match until the Euro 2016 quarter finals, with all Germany's other wins over Italy being in friendly competitions. However, the draw between the two teams in the group stage of Euro 1996 eliminated Italy from the tournament, while Germany had already qualified for the knockout stage.[2][3]

There were also four matches played between Italy and East Germany which resulted 1 win for each country and 2 draws.

The two countries played against each other once in the Summer Olympics. In the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, West Germany defeated Italy 3–0 in the bronze medal match.[4]

Also unique in world football rivalries, each national team has won a World Cup while hosting it, as well as when the other country has hosted the tournament.

Germany scored their first victory over Italy in 21 years at the Allianz Arena in Munich on 29 March 2016, winning 4–1, the previous victory being on 21 June 1995, where Germany won 2–0.

On 2 July 2016, Germany won their first competitive match in a major tournament against Italy at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux during the quarter finals of Euro 2016, winning 6–5 in a penalty shoot-out after it ended 1–1 in extra time.[5]

List of matches

Number Date Location Competition Game Results
01 1 January 1923 Italy Milan Friendly Italy – Germany 3–1
02 23 November 1924 Weimar Republic Duisburg Friendly Germany – Italy 0–1
03 28 April 1929 Italy Turin Friendly Italy – Germany 1–2
04 2 March 1930 Weimar Republic Frankfurt Friendly Germany – Italy 0–2
05 1 January 1933 Italy Bologna Friendly Italy – Germany 3–1
06 15 November 1936 Nazi Germany Berlin Friendly Germany – Italy 1–1
07 26 March 1939 Italy Florence Friendly Italy – Germany 3–2
08 26 November 1939 Nazi Germany Berlin Friendly Germany – Italy 5–2
09 5 May 1940 Italy Milan Friendly Italy – Germany 3–2
10 30 March 1955 West Germany Stuttgart Friendly Germany – Italy 1–2
11 18 December 1955 Italy Rome Friendly Italy – Germany 2–1
12 31 May 1962 Chile Santiago 1962 World Cup Italy – Germany 0–0
13 13 March 1965 West Germany Hamburg Friendly Germany – Italy 1–1
14 17 June 1970 Mexico Mexico City 1970 World Cup Italy – Germany 4–3
15 26 February 1974 Italy Rome Friendly Italy – Germany 0–0
16 8 October 1977 West Germany Berlin Friendly Germany – Italy 2–1
17 14 June 1978 Argentina Buenos Aires 1978 World Cup Italy – Germany 0–0
18 11 July 1982 Spain Madrid 1982 World Cup Final Italy – Germany 3–1
19 22 May 1984 Switzerland Zürich Friendly Germany – Italy 1–0
20 5 February 1986 Italy Avellino Friendly Italy – Germany 1–2
21 18 April 1987 West Germany Köln Friendly Germany – Italy 0–0
22 10 June 1988 West Germany Düsseldorf Euro 1988 Germany – Italy 1–1
23 25 March 1992 Italy Turin Friendly Italy – Germany 1–0
24 23 March 1994 Germany Stuttgart Friendly Germany – Italy 2–1
25 21 June 1995 Switzerland Zürich Friendly Germany – Italy 2–0
26 19 June 1996 England Manchester Euro 1996 Germany – Italy 0–0
27 20 August 2003 Germany Stuttgart Friendly Germany – Italy 0–1
28 1 March 2006 Italy Florence Friendly Italy – Germany 4–1
29 4 July 2006 Germany Dortmund 2006 World Cup Germany – Italy 0–2
30 9 February 2011 Germany Dortmund Friendly Germany – Italy 1–1
31 28 June 2012 Poland Warsaw Euro 2012 Germany – Italy 1–2
32 15 November 2013 Italy Milan Friendly Italy – Germany 1–1
33 29 March 2016 Germany Munich Friendly Germany – Italy 4–1
34 2 July 2016 France Bordeaux Euro 2016 Germany – Italy 1–1
35 15 November 2016 Italy Milan Friendly Italy – Germany 0–0

(a) Italy wins semi-final 4–3 in extra time
(b) Italy wins semi-final 2–0 in extra time and later wins the 2006 World Cup
(c) Germany wins quarter-final 6–5 in penalty shoot-out

Comparison of Germany's and Italy's positions in major international tournaments

Tournament  Germany  Italy Notes
1930 World Cup DNP DNP
1934 World Cup 3rd 1st
1938 World Cup 10th 1st German team included Austrian players as a result of the Anschluss.
1950 World Cup DNP 7th Germans were still banned as a result of World War II.
1954 World Cup 1st 10th First tournament where only West Germany was represented.
1958 World Cup 4th DNQ
Euro 1960 DNP DNP
1962 World Cup 7th 9th Germany and Italy were placed in the same first round group. Ended in a scoreless draw in the match between the two teams.
Euro 1964 DNP DNQ
1966 World Cup 2nd 9th
Euro 1968 DNQ 1st
1970 World Cup 3rd 2nd In the semifinals, Italy defeated Germany 4–3 after extra time.
Euro 1972 1st DNQ
1974 World Cup 1st 10th East Germany also qualified for this tournament.
Euro 1976 2nd DNQ
1978 World Cup 6th 4th In the second round, the two sides ended in a scoreless draw
Euro 1980 1st 4th
1982 World Cup 2nd 1st In the final, Italy defeated Germany 3–1.
Euro 1984 5th DNQ
1986 World Cup 2nd 12th
Euro 1988 3rd 4th Germany and Italy were placed in the same first round group. Ended as a 1–1 draw in the match between the two teams.
1990 World Cup 1st 3rd
Euro 1992 2nd DNQ First tournament since World War II where all of Germany was represented by one team.
1994 World Cup 5th 2nd
Euro 1996 1st 10th Germany and Italy were placed in the same first round group. The match against each other ended in a scoreless draw, and eliminated Italy from the tournament, which Germany went on to win.
1998 World Cup 7th 5th
Euro 2000 15th 2nd
2002 World Cup 2nd 15th
Euro 2004 12th 9th
2006 World Cup 3rd 1st In the semi finals, Italy defeated Germany 2–0 after extra time.
Euro 2008 2nd 8th
2010 World Cup 3rd 26th
Euro 2012 3rd 2nd In the semi finals, Italy defeated Germany 2–1.
2014 World Cup 1st 22nd
Euro 2016 3rd 5th In the quarter finals, Germany defeated Italy 6–5 on penalty kicks after extra time ended 1–1; Germany's first ever competitive match win over Italy.
2018 World Cup DNQ

     Denotes which team finished better in that particular competition
DNQ – Did not qualify
DNP – Did not participate

Major tournaments

1970 World Cup

Italy led for the majority of the semi-final match, after Roberto Boninsegna scored in the 8th minute. Germany's Franz Beckenbauer dislocated his shoulder[6] after being fouled, but stayed on the field carrying his dislocated arm in a sling, as his side had already used their two permitted substitutions.

Defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger equalized for West Germany during injury time at the end of the second half. German television commentator Ernst Huberty exclaimed "Schnellinger, of all people!", since Schnellinger played in Italy's professional football league, Serie A, at A.C. Milan (for whom he rarely scored) and previously for A.S. Roma and A.C. Mantova. It was also his first and only goal in 47 matches for the national team. The second half ended with the scores deadlocked at 1–1, and at this point the match became a battle of endurance during the two periods of extra time.

Gerd Müller put Germany ahead in the 94th minute, but Tarcisio Burgnich tied it back up four minutes later and Luigi Riva put the Italians back in front. Gerd Müller scored again for West Germany to tie up the score at 3–3. Yet, as television cameras were still replaying Müller's goal, Italy's Gianni Rivera scored the game-winning goal in the 111th minute. Being left unmarked near the penalty area, Rivera connected a fine cross made by Boninsegna, clinching the victory for Italy at 4–3.[7]

1982 World Cup

On 11 July, after a scoreless first half during which Antonio Cabrini fired a penalty low and wide to the right of goal, Paolo Rossi scored first, heading home a bouncing Claudio Gentile cross from the right from close range. Marco Tardelli then scored from the edge of the area with a low left footed shot before Alessandro Altobelli, at the end of a counterattack by winger Bruno Conti, made it 3–0 with another low left footed shot. Paul Breitner scored for Germany in the 83rd minute, firing low past the goalkeeper from the right, but Italy held on to claim their first World Cup title in 44 years, and their third in total with a 3–1 victory.[8]

Euro 1996

The two teams were matched up in the final game of the group stage of UEFA Euro 1996. Germany was already guaranteed progress to the next stage while Italy was faced with a must-win situation. Gianfranco Zola had a penalty saved by Andreas Köpke in the 9th minute and Thomas Strunz was sent off in the 59th minute. Despite the man advantage and the lion's share of possession, Italy failed to score due to the heroic display of Köpke. The goalless draw resulted in Italy being eliminated from the tournament.[9]

2006 World Cup

This was the semi-final match played in Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, in front of a crowd of 65,000 on 4 July 2006. Until then, the Westfalenstadion had been a fortress-like stadium for the German national team, as Germany had never lost there in 14 matches. During an eventful match, this record was broken when two late goals in the closing half of extra-time scored by Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero saw Italy advance to the final. Italy went on to win the World Cup for a fourth time.

German midfielder Torsten Frings was suspended for this semi-final match against Italy after footage was released by the media of him throwing a punch at Argentinian player Julio Cruz in Germany's quarter-final match up with Argentina after a brawl broke out; his suspension for the semi-final was announced by FIFA one day before the semi-final match was to be played.[10]

Euro 2012

Italy met Germany again in the semi-final match of Euro 2012 in the evening of 28 June 2012 at National Stadium in Warsaw. Prior to this match, Germany had set a world football record with 15 consecutive wins in competitive matches, which included all matches of Euro 2012 up to that point and the qualifiers. However, also this record was to be broken by Italy on that day.

In the 20th minute, Italian striker Mario Balotelli scored the first goal for Italy, in the left corner of the net, heading past German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after receiving a cross from Antonio Cassano, then in the 36th minute, Balotelli scored again for Italy, this time blasted into the top right corner on a one-on-one with Neuer, assisted by a Riccardo Montolivo lob over the German defence, giving them a two-goal lead. In the second half, the Germans attacked, trying to even the score. Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made several impressive saves to many German shots. Two minutes into added time, Italian defender Federico Balzaretti committed a handball inside the penalty box. The resulting penalty was successfully converted by the German midfielder Mesut Özil.

Thus, the final score was 2–1 to Italy, who went on to the finals against defending champions Spain. As in their previous encounter in the 2006 World Cup semifinal match, Andrea Pirlo was again elected the man of the match.

Euro 2016

On 2 July 2016, Germany and Italy met at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux during the quarter finals of the UEFA Euro 2016 where the match ended 1–1 after extra time and 6–5 in favour of Germany after a resulting penalty shoot-out for their first ever competitive match victory over Italy.[11][5]

Mesut Özil scored in the 65th minute to give Germany the lead. In the 78th minute Leonardo Bonucci scored from the penalty spot after Jérôme Boateng was fouled for a handball in the box. After a goalless extra time period, with the two sides still locked at one goal each, a penalty shoot-out resulted 6–5 in favour of Germany.

Manuel Neuer (Germany) and Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), the goalkeeper-captains of their respective teams for the quarter-final (although Neuer handed the skipper's armband when Bastian Schweinsteiger was substituted in), were the last goalkeepers who had not conceded a goal in the tournament until this match. Regarded as the best keepers in the world, they received praise for their performances in the quarter final.[12]

Penalty shoot-out



Includes matches against former West Germany
Draws include penalty shoot-outs

  • Total number of matches: 35
  • Italy wins: 15
  • Draws: 12
  • Germany wins: 8

See also


  1. ^ Italy national football team: record v Germany
  2. ^ [1] Euro 96 Germany vs. Italy match report
  4. ^ THE SEOUL GAMES : Roundup : West German Soccer Team Wins Bronze
  5. ^ a b "Germany finally defeat Italy to stride into semis". Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Der Kaiser, the brains behind Germany". FIFA. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  7. ^ 1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico. Match report. Italy - Germany FR
  8. ^ "Sparkling Italy spring ultimate upset". Glasgow Herald. 12 July 1982. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Italy pay penalty for Germany stalemate". 6 October 2003. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Frings misses semi-final after trial by TV footage". 4 July 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Germany vs Italy, Euro 2016: Germans win the shootout after Bonucci penalty cancels out Ozil opener". The Telegraph. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  12. ^ "Manuel Neuer edges Buffon in battle of Germany and Italy's great goalkeepers". 3 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 

External links

  • List of matches between Italy and Germany at European Football national team matches
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