It is quite hard to believe that eight years have passed since Italy won the World Cup for a fourth time. On 9 July 2006, following a breathtaking 120 minute battle between arch rivals Italy and France, the Azzurri claimed football’s most prestigious prize after holding their nerve to win the penalty shootout 5-3.
Eight men took to the field that evening, not only representing their countries, but also flying the Juventus flag. Ending the game as World Champions were Azzurri quintet Gianluigi Buffon, Gianluca Zambrotta, Fabio Cannavaro, Mauro Camoranesi and Alessandro Del Piero, while, on the other side, Lilian Thuram, Patrick Vieira and David Trezeguet’s important contributions ultimately proved in vain as France fell at the final hurdle.
The past, present and future of Juventus were also on display during the climax of the greatest show on earth.
On the playing front, Andrea Barzagli, Fabio Grosso, Thierry Henry, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Pippo Inzaghi, Simone Perrotta, Antonio Peruzzi, Andrea Pirlo, Luca Toni, and Zinedine Zidane have all appeared in the famous black and white stripes.
Meanwhile, over in the dugout, Marcello Lippi, who had guided the Bianconeri to a multitude of titles during his two spells at the club, lead the Italian national team to success and in the process added another major trophy to his stellar CV. His coaching staff that tournament was comprised of a plethora of familiar Juventus faces including Ivano Bordon, Aldo Esposito, Ciro Ferrara, Claudio Gaudino and Narciso Pezzotti.
That night not only heralded a record World Cup win for a European country but also showed Juventus’ international pedigree and ongoing impact within the modern game.