Germany’s History of Failure Against Italy

By Peter Alegi | June 25th, 2012 5 Comments

Germany is favored to win Thursday’s Euro 2012 semifinal against Italy. While Die Manschschaft has played the best and most consistent football in the tournament, the Azzurri have won just one game in regulation and reached the semifinal only after surviving a penalty shootout against England. History provides a counterpoint to soccernomics-style prognostications, however, because the Germans — or West Germans — have never defeated Italy in Euros or World Cup tournaments.

It started with a forgettable goalless draw at the 1962 World Cup in Santiago del Chile, but ignited in a globally televised World Cup semifinal played at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on June 17, 1970, which Italy won 4-3 in extra time. Outside the Azteca a plaque commemorates it as “The Match of the Century.” The video above combines footage of the original broadcast with Fabio Caressa’s 21st-century play-by-play commentary. Rumor has it that this clip is streaming on a loop in the Azzurri’s team hotel . . .

Come back tomorrow for part 2 of Germany’s history of football failure against Italy.




June 26th, 2012 | 1:50 am    

Very good piece. From a German point of view, i have put together a lengthy piece here:

Let’s see if Germany can live up to their favourite status or if Italy continue to be Germany’s bête noire in football.


June 26th, 2012 | 6:48 am    

Thanks for the comment and link to your excellent post Christoph. As I commented on your blog, the midfield battle is going to be fascinating. On your side, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, and Ozil have been outstanding so far. On our side, Pirlo and Marchisio have been superb, but who will play alongside them? De Rossi is slightly injured so perhaps Nocerino and Diamanti will get a start ahead of Montolivo and Thiago Motta. As an Italian, I’m happy that history is on our side, but as a football fan I’m worried about Germany’s form and momentum.

[…] Germans — or West Germans — have never defeated Italy in Euros or World Cup tournaments.” Football is Coming Home (Video), Germany’s History of Failure vs. Italy: Part 2 (Video) Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditLike […]


June 27th, 2012 | 2:09 am    

Why is this match labelled ‘match of the century? As far as i know the regular 90 minutes were not very exciting. Only in extra time it became a really good match. Is this enough to label it ‘match of the century?’

France vs. Germany: Preview | An Old International

February 6th, 2013 | 5:40 am    

[…] German football writer Dietrich Schulze-Marmehling stated that this game and this ‘brutal attack’ was the moment when many turned their backs on football and when football suffered a loss in image. Even academic football aficionados, a caste with a general problem to admitting their football madness in those days, had no problems turning away from the game. Certainly they had justified motives. If anything, it was the return of the ‘ugly German.’ Of course, the majority of spectators rooted for Italy in the final which they won 3-1, prolonging Germany’s miserable record against Italy. […]

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