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Italy Italy


Vieri double gives Italy victory

The Italians showed why they are among the favourites with an efficient display against Ecuador.
Vieri, Vieri hot - Images from the match

Perhaps, the most complete side in the World Cup, Italy is gifted with a rock-solid defence and an enterprising forward line. Little wonder, soccer-mad Italians are already smacking their lips in anticipation of a semi-final berth, at the very least.

Traditionally, known for its organised defence, today Italy boasts nippy attackers also. Italy's charge will be led by Totti, who can be exceptional both as playmaker and goal scorer.

The Azzurri attack is reinforced by the gifted Inzaghi and Del Pierro, both of whom can be difficult customers in the box. And, of course, Vieiri lends edge to the attack with his finishing touches.

In defence, Italy are well fortified. Cannavaro, Nesta and the dependable Maldini are closely knit and well organised. Also, Italy has the luxury of choosing between two world-class keepers in Toldo and Buffon.

Croatia, Ecuador and Mexico should serve as warm-ups before they run into serious opposition. History reveals that Italy have the tendency to stumble at the last hurdle. But if they play to their potential, the Azzurris are guaranteed to make it, at least to the last four.

Winners: 1934, 1938, 1982.

Gianluigi Buffon, Francesco Toldo, Christian Abbiati.

Alessandro Nesta, Fabio Cannavaro, Paolo Maldini, Marco Materazzi, Mark Iuliano, Christian Panucci.

Francesco Coco, Gianluca Zambrotta, Angelo Di Livio, Luigi di Biagio, Cristiano Zanetti, Damiano Tommasi, Gennaro Gattuso, Cristiano Doni.

Francesco Totti, Christian Vieri, Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Del Piero, Vincenzo Montella, Marco Delvecchio.

Qualifying campaign
D 2-2 Hungary (a)
W 3-0 Romania (h)
W 2-0 Georgia (h)
W 2-0 Romania (a)
W 4-0 Lithuania (h)
W 2-1 Georgia (a)
D 0-0 Lithuania (a)
W 1-0 Hungary (h)

June 20, 2002

  • Blatter slams refs and Italians

  • June 19, 2002
  • Italy's Trapattoni will not resign

    June 18, 2002
  • Golden goal takes Korea to last 8

    June 16, 2002
  • Italy have to walk alone against Red Devils

  • June 13, 2002
  • Italy face tough Mexican test

  • Italy stumble into second round

  • June 12, 2002
  • Nesta pulls out of Italy training session

  • June 11, 2002
  • Italy's Di Biagio out of Mexico game

  • June 10, 2002
  • Mexico must play their best against Italy

  • June 9, 2002
  • Press voice Italian fury over 'robbery'

  • June 8, 2002
  • Italy fume over disallowed goals in defeat

  • Italy's Nesta doubtful for Mexico game

  • Italy were over-confident say Croatians

  • June 4, 2002
  • Ice-cool Vieri eyes Italian record

  • June 3, 2002
  • Vieri double gives Italy victory

  • May 30, 2002
  • Italy on guard against complacency

  • May 27, 2002
  • Injury scares for France, Italy in final warm-up


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