03 June 2022
On Saturday, 4 June Italy face Germany in the Nations League in Bologna. The clash between these two great footballing nations has been deeply influenced by players in the black and white striped shirt.
Apart from the unforgettable World Cups in 1982 and 2006, there have been other encounters that have seen Juve players leave their mark, like Giampiero Boniperti (in the picture) who scored in the 2-1 win over the Germans in a friendly in 1955. At that time the number on a player's shirt corresponded to the position on the pitch, so as Juve's centre forward, Boniperti wore the number nine shirt. However, he demonstrated his great versatility being deployed as a winger, with the number seven on his back, with the Azzurri.
THE EVE OF GLORY
Italy have already hosted Germany in Bologna, way back in 1933. Another friendly and another win, this time 3-1. In coach Vittorio Pozzo's team there were Mumo Orsi (centre and left in the photo) and other Juventus players in the team. The following year the same group would go on to achieve the historic accomplishment of being crowned world champions for the first time in only the second ever World Cup, held in Italy.
It hasn't always been one way in Italy's favour against Germany. In 1986 although Aldo Serena scored, it was to no avail as the Germans came out on top by two goals to one. On the international scene, the Juventus striker was picking up from where he had left off on the domestic front, after having netted for the Bianconeri in a 3-0 success over Verona in Serie A before joining his international teammates.
FOR CLUB AND COUNTRY
With his natural ability to grab the limelight, Roberto Baggio starred in both black and white and sky-blue. In March 1992, the Juventus number 10 completed victory over Cremonese with a 90th minute goal that saw him dribble two defenders and goalkeeper Michelangelo Rampulla, who would soon become a teammate at the Bianconeri, before placing the ball into the empty net. A few days later, Italy welcomed Germany at the Delle Alpi and it was Baggio who once again left his mark by converting an 80th-minute penalty for the only goal of the game.
FROM FLORENCE TO DORTMUND
Alex Del Piero's 2006 will always be remembered for the wonder goal he scored in the World Cup semi-final against Germany. However, the dress rehearsal to that match in Dortmund took place four months earlier in a friendly in Florence. Del Piero scored one of the four goals that Marcello Lippi's team netted against the Germans. A few days previously, the Juventus captain had scored on domestic duties, burying a penalty for Juventus against Lecce.
The last friendly between Italy and Germany was played on 15 November 2016 in Milan. The Juventus delegation in the goalless draw that evening was made up of Gianluigi Buffon, Daniele Rugani and Leonardo Bonucci. Four days later both Daniele and Leo were at the heart of the Juventus defence at the Stadium against Pescara, a match won 3-0 by the Bianconeri.