“We will break the Italy curse.” – Lukas Podolski.
Two giants of European football go head to head in Warsaw on Thursday evening and despite Germany’s excellent record at international level, in historical terms, this is a match the Italians should fancy.
Germany and Italy have faced off seven times in international tournaments and the Azzurri are undefeated.
Three games absolutely stand out and despite Jogi Low’s side going into the match as favourites, it is clear Italy win these encounters when they matter most.
Italy’s World Cup semi-final win over Germany in 1970, labelled the “Game of the Century” on a plaque outside the Azteca Stadium says it all. Franz Beckenbauer played in a sling (picture), Italy just about managed to emerge with an extra time win but would go on to lose to Brazil in the final.
Twelve years later, Italy would see off Germany in the 1982 World Cup final, with Marco Tardelli’s crazed celebration another stand out image from these encounters.
The third epic came six years ago, on home turf and the likes of Jogi Low, Phillip Lahm and Lukas Podolski will remember it well. Italy stunned the hosts with two extra time goals in a truly excellent match won in extra time by Fabio Grosso (played in by Andrea Pirlo) and Alessandro del Piero.
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