5 great Germany - Italy matches of the past
With the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final clash between two of the most successful European football nations, we take a look down memory lane to recap through some of their most memorable clashes over the years. In the eyes of many fans and experts alike, this match comes much too early in the tournament as Germany and Italy have perhaps been the two most impressive sides in the tournament so far, and having them meet so early in the knockouts seems a tragedy, but such is the unpredictability of the draw.
With 8 World Cups and 4 European Championships between them, their pedigree was in no doubt coming into the tournament, but they’ve more than justified the hype around their winning mentality in Euro 2016. Italy, especially have surprised with convincing wins against two sides that were amongst the very favourites to win the whole competition – Belgium and Spain. And despite what Joachim Low says, The Germans will have looked onto Italy’s win against Spain with dread, well aware that they have never beaten the Italians in a tournament match.
Here are the 5 greatest Germany – Italy matches:
Italy 2 – Germany 1 (Euro 2012)
This match is still fresh in the memory, for Mario Balotelli’s thunderous-shirtless celebration after a brilliant brace, as well as Italy’s dominant performance.
Andrea Pirlo was a complete maestro in midfield, controlling the whole game while Balotelli produced his best performance in the Azzurri shirt. The Germans did have a sustained period of pressure in the second half, but an eventual Ozil penalty in stoppage time came much too late.
The Italians were the best team to watch in the tournament, even though they got dismantled by Spain in the final and their football was affectionately labeled as ‘Tikitalia’ at the time.