1982 World Cup Story of Italy | All Matches | Highlights & Best Moments


00:00 – Italy vs Poland – Group 1 Matchday 1
02:41 – Italy vs Peru – Group 1 Matchday 2
06:38 – Italy vs Cameroon – Group 1 Matchday 3
10:34 – Group 1 Standings
10:47 – Italy vs Argentina – Group C (Second Group Stage)
14:20 – Italy vs Brazil – Group C (Second Group Stage)
18:46 – Group C (Second Group Stage) Standings
18:57 – Italy vs Poland (Semi-Final)
22:39 – Knockout Stage Standings
23:08 – Italy vs West Germany (Final)


In Group 1, newcomers Cameroon held both Poland and Italy to draws, and were denied a place in the next round on the basis of having scored fewer goals than Italy (the sides had an equal goal difference). Poland and Italy qualified over Cameroon and Peru. Italian journalists and tifosi criticised their team for their uninspired performances that managed three draws; the squad was reeling from the recent Serie A scandal, where national players were suspended for match fixing and illegal betting.

In Group C, with Brazil, Argentina and Italy, in the opener, Italy prevailed 2–1 over Diego Maradona and Mario Kempes’s side after a game in which Italian defenders Gaetano Scirea and Claudio Gentile proved themselves equal to the task of stopping the Argentinian attack. Argentina now needed a win over Brazil on the second day, but lost 3–1 – Argentina only scoring in the last minute. Maradona kicked Brazilian player João Batista in the groin and was sent off in the 85th minute.

The match between Brazil and Italy pitted Brazil’s attack against Italy’s defence, with the majority of the game played around the Italian area, and with the Italian midfielders and defenders returning the repeated set volleys of Brazilian shooters such as Zico, Sócrates and Falcão. Italian centre back Gentile was assigned to mark Brazilian striker Zico, earning a yellow card and a suspension for the semi-final. Paolo Rossi opened the scoring when he headed in Antonio Cabrini’s cross with just five minutes played. Sócrates equalised for Brazil seven minutes later. In the twenty-fifth minute Rossi stepped past Júnior, intercepted a pass from Cerezo across the Brazilians’ goal, and drilled the shot home. The Brazilians threw everything in search of another equaliser, while Italy defended bravely. On 68 minutes, Falcão collected a pass from Júnior and as Cerezo’s dummy run distracted three defenders, fired home from 20 yards out. Now Italy had gained the lead twice thanks to Rossi’s goals, and Brazil had come back twice; At 2–2, Brazil would have been through on goal difference, but in the 74th minute, a poor clearance from an Italian corner kick went back to the Brazilian six-yard line where Rossi and Francesco Graziani were waiting. Both aimed at the same shot, Rossi connecting to get a hat trick and sending Italy into the lead for good. In the 86th minute Giancarlo Antognoni scored an apparent fourth goal for Italy, but it was wrongly disallowed for offside. In the dying moments Dino Zoff made a miraculous save to deny Oscar a goal, ensuring that Italy advanced to the semi-final.

In the final, Antonio Cabrini fired a penalty wide of goal in the first half. In the second half, Paolo Rossi scored first for the third straight game by heading home Gentile’s bouncing cross at close range. Exploiting the situation, Italy scored twice more on quick counter-strikes, all the while capitalising on their defence to hold the Germans. With Gentile and Gaetano Scirea holding the centre, the Italian strikers were free to counter-punch the weakened German defence. Marco Tardelli’s shot from the edge of the area beat Schumacher first, and Alessandro Altobelli, the substitute for injured striker Francesco Graziani, made it 3–0 at the end of a solo sprint down the right side by the stand-out winger Bruno Conti. Italy’s lead appeared secure, encouraging Italian president Sandro Pertini to wag his finger at the cameras in a playful “not going to catch us now” gesture. In the 83rd minute, Paul Breitner scored for West Germany, but it was only a consolation goal as Italy won 3–1 to claim their first World Cup title in 44 years, and their third in total.


1982 World Cup Italy team:

12 – Ivano Bordon
22 – Giovanni Galli
1 – Dino Zoff
2 – Franco Baresi
3 – Giuseppe Bergomi
4 – Antonio Cabrini
5 – Fulvio Collovati
6 – Claudio Gentile
7 – Gaetano Scirea
8 – Pietro Vierchowod
9 – Giancarlo Antognoni
16 – Bruno Conti
10 – Giuseppe Dossena
11 – Giampiero Marini
13 – Gabriele Oriali
14 – Marco Tardelli
18 – Alessandro Altobelli
15 – Franco Causio
19 – Francesco Graziani
17 – Daniele Massaro
20 – Paolo Rossi
21 – Franco Selvaggi

Enzo Bearzot

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