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 meetingItaly 3–1 Germany
(1 January 1923)
Latest meetingItaly 0–0 Germany
(15 November 2016)
Meetings total35
Most winsItaly (15)
All-time seriesItaly: 15
Draw: 12
Germany: 8
Largest victoryGermany 5–2 Italy
(26 November 1939)
Italy 4–1 Germany
(1 March 2006)
Germany 4–1 Italy
(29 March 2016)
Largest goal scoringGermany 5–2 Italy
(26 November 1939)
Italy 4–3 (a.e.t) Germany
1970 World Cup
(17 June 1970)
Germany–Italy football rivalry is located in Europe

The Germany–Italy football rivalry (German: Deutsch-italienische Fußballrivalität; Italian: Rivalità calcistica Germania-Italia) between the national football teams of Germany and Italy,[1][2][3][4][5] the two most successful football nations in Europe, is a long-running one. Overall, the two teams have won eight FIFA World Cup championships (four each) and made a total of 14 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, (Italy having won 3 games, tied two, and never lost) and many of these matches have been notable in the history of the tournament. The "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 twice. The two countries have faced each other four times in the European championship, with one Italian victory and three draws (one German penalty shoot-out success).

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.[6] Moreover, Germany has never won against Italy in an official tournament match, with all Germany's wins over Italy being in friendly competitions—however, Germany had overcome Italy on penalties following a draw after extra time in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.[7] There were also four matches played between Italy and East Germany which resulted 1 win for each country and 2 draws.

List of matches

Number Date Location Competition Game Results
1 1 January 1923 Italy Milan Friendly Italy – Germany 3–1
2 23 November 1924 Weimar Republic Duisburg Germany – Italy 0–1
3 28 April 1929 Italy Turin Italy – Germany 1–2
4 2 March 1930 Weimar Republic Frankfurt Germany – Italy 0–2
5 1 January 1933 Italy Bologna Italy – Germany 3–1
6 15 November 1936 Nazi Germany Berlin Germany – Italy 2–2
7 26 March 1939 Italy Florence Italy – Germany 3–2
8 26 November 1939 Nazi Germany Berlin Germany – Italy 5–2
9 5 May 1940 Italy Milan Italy – Germany 3–2
10 30 March 1955 West Germany Stuttgart Germany – Italy 1–2
11 18 December 1955 Italy Rome 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 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 Italy – Germany 1–2
21 18 April 1987 West Germany Köln Germany – Italy 0–0
22 10 June 1988 West Germany Düsseldorf Euro 1988 1–1
23 25 March 1992 Italy Turin Friendly Italy – Germany 1–0
24 23 March 1994 Germany Stuttgart Germany – Italy 2–1
25 21 June 1995 Switzerland Zürich 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 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 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 the semi-final 4–3 in extra time.
(b) Italy wins the final 3–1 and wins the 1982 World Cup.
(c) Italy wins the semi-final 2–0 in extra time and later wins the 2006 World Cup.
(d) Germany advanced in the quarter-final 6–5 in penalty shoot-out.

Comparison in major tournaments


  Denotes which team finished better in that particular competition.
DNQ: Did not qualify.
DNP: Did not participate.
TBD: To be determined.

Tournament  Germany  Italy Notes
1930 World Cup DNP DNP
1934 World Cup 3rd 1st Tournament hosted by Italy.
1938 World Cup 10th 1st
1950 World Cup DNP 7th Germany not a member of FIFA.
1954 World Cup 1st 10th
1958 World Cup 4th DNQ
Euro 1960 DNP DNP
1962 World Cup 7th 9th In the group stage, the match ended 0–0.
Euro 1964 DNP DNQ
1966 World Cup 2nd 9th
Euro 1968 DNQ 1st Tournament hosted by Italy.
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 Tournament hosted by West Germany.
Euro 1976 2nd DNQ
1978 World Cup 6th 4th In the second round, the match ended 0–0.
Euro 1980 1st 4th Tournament hosted by Italy.
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 Tournament hosted by West Germany. In the group stage, the match ended 1–1.
1990 World Cup 1st 3rd Tournament hosted by Italy.
Euro 1992 2nd DNQ
1994 World Cup 5th 2nd
Euro 1996 1st 10th In the group stage, the match ended 0–0.
1998 World Cup 7th 5th
Euro 2000 15th 2nd
2002 World Cup 2nd 15th
Euro 2004 12th 9th
2006 World Cup 3rd 1st Tournament hosted by Germany. In the semifinals, Italy defeated Germany 2–0 after extra time.
Euro 2008 2nd 8th
2010 World Cup 3rd 26th
Euro 2012 3rd 2nd In the semifinals, Italy defeated Germany 2–1.
2014 World Cup 1st 22nd
Euro 2016 3rd 5th In the quarter finals, Germany eliminated Italy 6–5 on penalties after the match ended 1–1.
2018 World Cup 22nd DNQ
Euro 2020 15th 1st Tournament co-hosted by Germany and Italy.
2022 World Cup TBD TBD
Euro 2024 TBD TBD Tournament hosted by Germany.

Major encounters

1962 World Cup

This game was the first match ever played in a World Cup between Germany and Italy, and saw few scoring chances for both sides. In the first half Uwe Seeler hit the bar, Albert Brülls and Omar Sívori also had their chances. In the second half the game became more physical and sometimes brutal but in the end defences overcame attacks and no goals were scored.[8]

West Germany 0–0 Italy

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[9] 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.[10]

Italy 4–3 (a.e.t.) West Germany
Boninsegna Goal 8'
Burgnich Goal 98'
Riva Goal 104'
Rivera Goal 111'
Report Schnellinger Goal 90'
Müller Goal 94'110'

1978 World Cup

This match was played in the first matchday of Group A of the 1978 FIFA World Cup, a round robin played between the winners and the runners-up of the groups of the first phase; the game ended in a scoreless draw. At the end of the second phase Italy managed to reach the third place play-off against Brazil, while Germany were eliminated as third in the group.

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.[11]

Italy 3–1 West Germany
Rossi Goal 57'
Tardelli Goal 69'
Altobelli Goal 81'
Report Breitner Goal 83'

Euro 1988

Both the sides faced-off in the opening match of Euro 1988 in group stage held in West Germany. The first half ended without any goals. Within 10 minutes of the second half Roberto Mancini gave the Italian side the lead by scoring at the 52nd minute, however the lead was short lived as Andreas Brehme scored the equalizer for West Germany at the 55th minute. The game ended in a draw with one goal for each side.[12]

West Germany 1–1 Italy
Brehme Goal 55' Report Mancini Goal 52'
Attendance: 62,552

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 unless Italy and Czech Republic both won their matches while Italy was faced with a must-win situation if the Czech Republic did not lose to Russia. 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 as the Czech Republic drew with Russia[13]

Italy 0–0 Germany
Attendance: 53,740

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 match after the media released footage of him throwing a punch at Argentinian player Julio Cruz after a brawl broke out in Germany's quarter-final against Argentina; FIFA announced his suspension one day before the semi-final match.[14]

Germany 0–2 (a.e.t.) Italy

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.

Germany 1–2 Italy
Özil Goal 90+2' (pen.) Report Balotelli Goal 20'36'
Attendance: 55,540[15]

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 in a 1–1 draw after extra time, with Germany advancing 6–5 after a penalty shoot-out—statistically a draw, it was the first time ever Germany had overcame Italy in a competitive tie.[16][7]

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. They received praise for their performances in the quarter final.[17]



Matches Wins Draws Goals
Germany Italy Germany Italy
FIFA World Cup 5 0 3 2 4 9
UEFA Euros 4 0 1 3* 3 4
All competitions 9 0 4 5 7 13
Friendly 26 8 11 7 34 37
All matches 35 8 15 12 41 50

Note: *Germany overcame Italy in a Euro 2016 quarter-final match via penalty shoot-out.

See also


  1. ^ ""Tra noi e i panzer una rivalità speciale" (in Italian). 15 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Germania-Italia story: dal '70 al 2006 una rivalità che si rinnova nel tempo" (in Italian). 26 June 2012.
  3. ^ "L'Inter vince la Champions e riaccende l'eterna rivalità fra Italia e Germania" (in Italian). 23 May 2010. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  4. ^ "E' di nuovo Italia-Germania, dolci ricordi mondiali..." (in Italian). 24 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Italy, Germany renew rivalry at Euro". 28 June 2012.
  6. ^ Italy national football team: record v Germany
  7. ^ a b "Germany finally defeat Italy to stride into semis". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  8. ^ World Cup 1962: Game Details
  9. ^ "Der Kaiser, the brains behind Germany". FIFA. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  10. ^ 1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico. Match report. Italy - Germany FR
  11. ^ "Sparkling Italy spring ultimate upset". Glasgow Herald. 12 July 1982. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Brehme salvages precious point against Italy". 5 October 2003. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Italy pay penalty for Germany stalemate". 6 October 2003. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Frings misses semi-final after trial by TV footage". 4 July 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Full-time report Germany-Italy" (PDF). Union of European Football Associations. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "Manuel Neuer edges Buffon in battle of Germany and Italy's great goalkeepers". 3 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Full Time Summary – Germany v Italy" (PDF). Union of European Football Associations. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.

External links