The Italy vs Germany rivalry is one of the most iconic in the world of football. The two European giants have faced each other 37 times, with Italy coming out on top 15 times, compared to Germany’s 9 victories. Despite this, every time these two teams meet, it is a spectacle to behold, with each game having its own unique story to tell.
The Game of the Century – West Germany v Italy, 1970 World Cup Semi Final
The 1970 World Cup Semi Final is widely considered as The Game of the Century. The match was played in Mexico, with West Germany taking on Italy. It was the first-ever World Cup that was televised in color throughout the world, and it did not disappoint.
Italy took an early lead and defended it resolutely for most of the game. Despite creating numerous chances, the Germans were denied by the Italian defense and some questionable refereeing. The resolve of the Germans eventually paid off as they finally equalized through defender Karl Heinz Schnellinger in the final minute of stoppage time.
Gerd Muller gave Germany the lead in extra time, only for it to be overturned by a resolute Italian side not ready to give up so easily. The Italians made it 3-2, only for the score to be leveled again by the incredible Gerd Muller. The hearts of German fans were finally broken once and for all by AC Milan striker Gianni Rivera, who rounded off a memorable win for the Italians.
West Germany 1-3 Italy, 1982 World Cup Final
In 1982, Germany and Italy faced each other in the World Cup Final, which is considered the ultimate game in international football. The Italians produced a complete performance in the second half, scoring goals through Paolo Rossi, Marco Tardelli, and Alessandro Altobelli, stunning the West Germans.
Even though the Germans managed to pull one back through Paul Breitner in the 83rd minute, the game was already over. It was another triumph for the ruthless Italians as they lifted the World Cup for the third time in their history.
Germany 0-2 Italy, World Cup Semi Final 2006
In the 2006 World Cup, Germany, the hosts, faced off against a star-studded Italian side in Dortmund. The Italians relied on their classy defenders Bonucci, Barzagli, and Chiellini to shut out any wave of attack coming from the opposition. The Italians finally broke German hearts in extra time with a stunning counter-attack led by Ballon d’Or winner Fabio Cannavaro, which set up Del Piero to seal the fate of the Germans.
Germany 1-2 Italy, Euro 2012 Semi Final
In the battle of the two midfields, Germany and Italy locked horns in the Euro 2012 Semi Final. Despite early dominance by Germany, it was the Italians who got the breakthrough through Mario Balotelli. Within no time, the lead was doubled as the former Manchester City striker scored a sensational goal from outside the box that caught Manuel Neuer off his line. It was truly a majestic performance from the mercurial youngster.
The Italians allowed Germany to have the ball and relied on their defense to shut out any wave of attack coming from the opposition. Germany reduced the deficit in the 91st minute through Ozil’s penalty, but it was too late, and Italy progressed to the final to meet Spain.
Germany 1-1 Italy, UEFA Euro 2016 Quarter Final
The first time Germany managed to beat Italy in a competitive game was in the Euro 2016 Quarter Final. Mesut Ozil finally found a way to breach the Italian defense, but in a strange turn of events, Jerome Boateng handled the ball in injury time, allowing Bonucci to equalize for the Azzurri. The game went to penalties, with both teams struggling to find their shooting boots. Finally, Germany scraped through despite missing three penalties in another stunning encounter between these two proud footballing nations.
Germany 5-2 Italy, Nations League 2022
In the latest episode of this glorious rivalry, we saw an exuberant German side run through the Italians in a game that is sure to fill them with confidence going into the World Cup. The Germans enjoyed 66% possession in a game where Timo Werner and Muller truly excelled.
The Future of the Rivalry
Both Italy and Germany have won the World Cup four times each, making them powerhouses in the world game. While Italy has had the upper hand historically, Germany’s recent victory in the Nations League suggests that the tide may be turning. Check out our article on Italy’s Euro 2020: Story of the resurgence of the Italians.
The future of the rivalry between these two proud footballing nations is sure to be a spectacle to behold. With both teams possessing world-class players, fans can expect more classic encounters in the future.
The rivalry between Italy and Germany is one of the most iconic in the world of football. The two teams have faced each other 37 times, with Italy winning 15 encounters, compared to Germany’s nine victories. However, every time these two teams meet, it is a spectacle to behold, with each game having its own unique story to tell. While Italy has had the upper hand historically, Germany’s recent victory in the Nations League suggests that the tide may be turning. Fans of both teams can expect more classic encounters in the future, as these two proud footballing nations continue to battle it out on the field.