Population: 60.6 M.
FA foundation: 1898.
Affiliation to FIFA: 1905.
Affiliation to UEFA: 1954.
Head Coach: Cesare Prandelli.
The Azzurri didn’t take part in the qualification for the first tournament in 1960 just as some mighty powers like England and West Germany.
In the next tournament, Italy looked in form as they thrashed Turkey 7-0 on aggregate in the preliminary round, but they were knocked out by the Soviets losing 0-2 in Moscow and drawing 1-1 in Rome.
Italy topped the qualifying group for Euro 1968 with five points over Romania before edging Bulgaria in a tough playoff that saw the Azzurri losing 1-2 in Sofia before winning 2-0 in Rome.
HELD TO A SCORELESS DRAW IN ROME
Italy hosted the semifinals where they tried to take revenge from the USSR, but they only needed luck in coin toss to reach the final after 120 minutes of goalless play.
The hosts drew 1-1 with Yugoslavia in the final as UEFA decided to replay the game two days later when Italy won by two goals from Gigi Riva and Pietro Anastasi to claim their first major title in 30 years.
The Azzurri failed to defend their title in the 1972 qualification despite winning the preliminary group, as they lost 2-1 in Belgium after being held to a scoreless draw in Rome.
Things became worse on the road to the 1976 finals as Italy finished third in their group behind both the Netherlands and Poland.
Despite being chosen to host the 1980 tournament, Italy under world cup winning coach Enzo Bearzot, won just one game over England thanks to a Marco Tardelli goal but were held twice to 0-0 draws with Spain and Belgium.
COMFORTABLE BERTH IN EURO 1988
The hosts finished the tournament in fourth place after losing to Czechoslovakia on penalties.
Only after being crowned world champions for the third time, Italy failed to reach Euro 1984 finals finishing fourth in the qualification group behind Romania, Sweden and Czechoslovakia in one of the most shocking surprises.
Young talents like Paolo Madlini, Roberto Mancini, and Gianluca Vialli guided Italy to a comfortable berth in the Euro 1988 finals where they drew with hosts Germany and defeated both Spain and Denmark to reach the semifinals.
Two second half goals from the Soviets ended Italian hopes as the Azzurri had to wait for four more years.
A Bronze medal in the 1990 World Cup put high expectations on Italy during the Euro 1992 qualifying campaign, but surprisingly, the Azzurri finished three points short of the CIS team that succeeded the USSR.
Coach Arrigo Sacchi continued in charge after reaching the 1994 World Cup final, and managed to clinch a spot in Euro 1996 despite finishing second on goal difference behind Croatia.
Casiraghi scored a brace to help Italy win their first tie against Russia, but they quickly lost the following game to the Czech Republic.
With the obligation to beat eventual champions Germany in the final group game Gianfranco Zola missed a penalty as the match ended in a 0-0 draw and the Italians were shown the exit door.
A SOLID DEFENCE
Italy had a tough qualification race for Euro 2000, but they were able to top the group at the expense of Denmark and Switzerland to reach the finals with ex-keeper Dino Zoff in charge as head coach.
The Azzurri collected maximum points in the group stage beating Turkey, Sweden and hosts Belgium before scoring two goals against Romania to reach the semifinals.
A Solid defence led by keeper Francesco Toldo could hold the Netherlands to a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes as the Italians won on penalties to reach the final for the first time in 32 years.
Marco Delvecchio gave Italy the lead over France, but Sylvain Witlord equalized in injury time before David Trezeguet scored the golden goal to bring the Italians nightmare into reality.
Giovanni Trapattoni guided the team to a place in Euro 2004 at the expense of Wales, but his team had a poor showing in the finals drawing with both Denmark and Sweden before an insufficient win over Bulgaria to crash out of the tournament.
Winning the fourth World Cup title in 2006 made Italy clear favorites to win the Euro 2008 after topping a tough group that included neighbors France.
Italy had a nightmare start in the finals losing 0-3 to the Netherlands before struggling to a 1-1 draw with Romania.
The Azzurri had to win their last tie against France and they dully delivered with two goals to nil to meet Spain in the quarterfinals.
After a close goalless game, both sides headed for penalties where Di Natale and De Rossi missed their kicks to make way for the eventual champions.
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