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Football is the most popular sport in Italy. The Italian national football team is considered to be one of the best national teams in the world. They have won the FIFA World Cup four times (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), trailing only Brazil (with 5), appearing in two finals (1970, 1994) and reaching a third place (1990). They have also won one European championship (1968), also appearing in two finals (2000, 2012), one Olympic football tournament (1936) and two Central European International Cups. Italy's club sides have won 27 major European trophies, making them the most successful nation in European football. Italy's top domestic league, the Serie A, is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world. Serie A hosts three of the world's most famous clubs as Juventus, Milan and Inter, all founding members of the G-14, a group which represented the largest and most prestigious European football clubs; Serie A was the only league to produce three founding members. More players have won the coveted Ballon d'Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any other league in the world. The Italian word for football is calcio and this is the word used to make reference to the sport in Italy, as opposed to football in England or soccer in the United States and Canada.

Leagues

National teams

Main article: Italy national football team

The Italian national team, called Azzurri or squadra azzurra for their blue shirts, are the second-most successful national team in the world. During the 1970s to early 1990s Italy became famous for their catenaccio, thus heralding a long line of world class defenders such as Virginio Rosetta, Pietro Rava, Carlo Parola, Giacinto Facchetti, Armando Picchi, Gaetano Scirea, Antonio Cabrini, Claudio Gentile, Franco Baresi, Giuseppe Bergomi, Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Nesta.

A women's team, an under-21 team, an under-20 team, an under-19 team, and an under-17 team also compete.

Their honours include:

  • 4 FIFA World Cups
  • 1 European Football Championship
  • 1 Olympic Gold Medal
  • 5 European Championships U21
  • 3 European Championships U18
  • 2 European Championships U16
  • 7 Summer Universiades
  • 8 World Military Championships
  • 1 European Futsal Championship

They have been finalists in:

  • 2 World Cups
  • 2 European Championship
  • 2 Bronze medals at Olympic Games
  • 2 European Championship U21
  • 1 European Championship U19
  • 4 European Championship U18
  • 3 European Championship U16
  • 2 Summer Universiades
  • 4 World Military Championships

World Champions squads

Italy
Italy – 1934 FIFA World Cup

1. Cavanna 2. Combi 3. Masetti 4. Allemandi 5. Caligaris 6. Monzeglio 7. Rosetta 8. Bertolini 9. Castellazzi 10. Ferraris 11. Monti 12. Pizziolo 13. Varglien 14. Arcari 15. Borel 16. Demaria 17. Ferrari 18. Guaita 19. Guarisi 20. Meazza 21. Orsi 22. Schiavio

Italy
Italy – 1938 FIFA World Cup

1. Andreolo 2. Bertoni 3. Biavati 4. Ceresoli 5. Chizzo 6. Colaussi 7. Donati 8. Ferrari 9. Ferraris 10. Foni 11. Genta 12. Locatelli 13. Masetti 14. Meazza 15. Monzeglio 16. Olivieri 17. Olmi 18. Pasinati 19. Perazzolo 20. Piola 21. Rava 22. Serantoni

Italy
Italy – 1982 FIFA World Cup

1. Zoff 2. Baresi 3. Bergomi 4. Cabrini 5. Collovati 6. Gentile 7. Scirea 8. Vierchowod 9. Antognoni 10. Dossena 11. Marini 12. Bordon 13. Oriali 14. Tardelli 15. Causio 16. Conti 17. Massaro 18. Altobelli 19. Graziani 20. Rossi 21. Selvaggi 22. Galli

Italy
Italy – 2006 FIFA World Cup - Winner (4th title)

1. Buffon 2. Zaccardo 3. Grosso 4. De Rossi 5. Cannavaro 6. Barzagli 7. Del Piero 8. Gattuso 9. Toni 10. Totti 11. Gilardino 12. Peruzzi 13. Nesta 14. Amelia 15. Iaquinta 16. Camoranesi 17. Barone 18. Inzaghi 19. Zambrotta 20. Perrotta 21. Pirlo 22. Oddo 23. Materazzi


European Champions players

Italy
Italy – UEFA Euro 1968

1. Albertosi 2. Anastasi 3. Anquilletti 4. Bercellino 5. Burgnich 6. Bulgarelli 7. Castano 8. De Sisti 9. Domenghini 10. Facchetti 11. Ferrini 12. Guarneri 13. Juliano 14. Lodetti 15. Mazzola 16. Prati 17. Riva 18. Rivera 19. Rosato 20. Salvadore 21. Vieri 22. Zoff


European competitions for clubs

  • 12 UEFA European Cups won in 26 finals (first with Spain)
  • 7 UEFA Cup Winners' Cups won in 11 finals (first is England with 8/13)
  • 9 UEFA Cups won in 15 finals (first)
  • 9 UEFA Super Cups won in 12 finals (first)
  • 9 Intercontinental/World Club Cups (first with Argentina/Brazil)

In Total:

  • Italy, 44 cups and 66 finals (first)

UEFA Champions League

The following teams have advanced to elimination rounds in the UEFA Champions League.

  • Carlo Chiesa, La grande storia del calcio italiano, published in installments on Il Guerin Sportivo, April 2012-...
Football in Italy
League competitions IFF Cup competitions
Serie A Italy Coppa Italia
Serie B (U-21) (U-20) Supercoppa Italiana
Serie C (U-19) (U-17) Coppa Italia Lega Pro
Serie D List of clubs Supercoppa (Prima Divisione)
Eccellenza List of stadiums Supercoppa (Seconda Divisione)
Lega Nazionale Dilettanti
(Promozione · Prima Categoria · Seconda Categoria · Terza Categoria)
List of leagues Coppa Italia Serie D
Records Coppa Italia Dilettanti
Football in Europe
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