France national football team
The France national football team represents France in international football and is controlled by the French Football Federation known as FFF, or in French: Fédération française de football. The team's colours are blue and red, the coq gaulois its symbol. France are colloquially known as Les Bleus; the French side are the reigning World Cup holders, having won the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 15 July 2018. France play home matches at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis and their manager is Didier Deschamps, they have won two FIFA World Cups, two UEFA European Championships, two FIFA Confederations Cups and one Olympic tournament. France experienced much of its success in four major eras: in the 1950s, 1980s, late 1990s/early 2000s, mid/late 2010s which resulted in numerous major honours. France was one of the four European teams that participated in the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and, although having been eliminated in the qualification stage six times, is one of only three teams that have entered every World Cup qualifying cycle.
In 1958, the team, led by Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine, finished in third place at the FIFA World Cup. In 1984, led by Ballon d'Or winner Michel Platini, won UEFA Euro 1984 and Football at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Under the captaincy of Didier Deschamps and three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane, France won the FIFA World Cup in 1998. Two years the team triumphed at UEFA Euro 2000. France won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003, reached the 2006 FIFA World Cup final, which it lost 5–3 on penalties to Italy; the team reached the final of UEFA Euro 2016, where they lost 1–0 to Portugal in extra time. France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, defeating Croatia 4–2 in the final match on 15 July 2018; this was the second time they had won the tournament after winning it on home soil in 1998. France was the first national team that has won the three most important men's titles recognized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, the Olympic tournament after victory in the Confederations Cup in 2001.
Since 2001, Argentina and Brazil are the other two national teams. They have won their respective continental championship; the France national football team was created in 1904 around the time of FIFA's foundation on 21 May 1904 and contested its first official international match on 1 May 1904 against Belgium in Brussels, which ended in a 3–3 draw. The following year, on 12 February 1905, France contested their first-ever home match against Switzerland; the match was played at the Parc des Princes in front of 500 supporters. France won the match 1–0 with the only goal coming from Gaston Cyprès. Due to disagreements between FIFA and the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques, the country's sports union, France struggled to establish an identity. On 9 May 1908, the French Interfederal Committee, a rival organization to the USFSA, ruled that FIFA would now be responsible for the club's appearances in forthcoming Olympic Games and not the USFSA. In 1919, the CFI transformed themselves into the French Football Federation.
In 1921, the USFSA merged with the FFF. In July 1930, France appeared in the inaugural FIFA World Cup, held in Uruguay. In their first-ever World Cup match, France defeated Mexico 4–1 at the Estadio Pocitos in Montevideo. Lucien Laurent became notable in the match as he scored not only France's first World Cup goal, but the first goal in World Cup history. Conversely, France became the first team to not score in a match after losing 1–0 to fellow group stage opponents Argentina. Another loss to Chile resulted in the team bowing out in the group stage; the following year saw the first selection of a black player to the national team. Raoul Diagne, of Senegalese descent, earned his first cap on 15 February in a 2–1 defeat to Czechoslovakia. Diagne played with the team at the 1938 World Cup, alongside Larbi Benbarek, one of the first players of North African origin to play for the national team. At the 1934 World Cup, France suffered elimination in the opening round. On the team's return to Paris, they were greeted as heroes by a crowd of over 4,000 supporters.
France hosted the 1938 World Cup and reached the quarter-finals, losing 3–1 to defending champions Italy. The 1950s saw France handed its first Golden Generation composed of players such as Just Fontaine, Raymond Kopa, Jean Vincent, Robert Jonquet, Maryan Wisnieski, Thadée Cisowski, Armand Penverne. At the 1958 World Cup, France reached the semi-finals losing to Brazil. In the third place match, France defeated West Germany 6–3 with Fontaine recording four goals, which brought his goal tally in the competition to 13, a World Cup record; the record still stands today. France hosted the inaugural UEFA European Football Championship in 1960 and, for the second straight international tournament, reached the semi-finals. In the round, France faced Yugoslavia and were shocked 5–4 despite being up 4–2 heading into the 75th minute. In the third-place match, France were defeated 2–0 by the Czechoslovakians; the 1960s and 70s saw France decline playing under several managers and failing to qualify for numerous international tournaments.
On 25 April 1964, Henri Guérin was installed as the team's first manager. Under Guérin, France failed to qualify for the 1964 European Nations' Cup; the team did return to major international play following qualification for the 1966 World Cup. The team lost in the group stage portion of the tournament. Guérin was fired follo
Sport Lisboa e Benfica ComC MHIH OM known as Benfica, is a sports club based in Lisbon, Portugal. It is best known for the professional football team playing in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of the Portuguese football league system, where they are the most successful club in terms of titles won. Founded on 28 February 1904 as Sport Lisboa, Benfica is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from the Primeira Liga, along with rivals Sporting CP and FC Porto; the Benfica team is nicknamed Águias, for the symbol atop the club's crest, Encarnados, for the shirt colour. Since 2003, their home ground has been the Estádio da Luz, which replaced the larger, original one, built in 1954. Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club, with an estimated 14 million supporters worldwide, the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country having 206,437 members; the club's anthem, "Ser Benfiquista", refers to its supporters. Águia Vitória is their mascot.
Benfica is honoured of Prince Henry and of Merit. With a total of 81 major trophies won – 82 including the Latin Cup – Benfica is the most decorated club in Portugal, they have won 79 domestic trophies: a record 36 Primeira Liga titles, a record 26 Taça de Portugal, a record 7 Taça da Liga, 7 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and 3 Campeonato de Portugal. Internationally, they won back-to-back European Cups in 1961 and 1962 – a unique feat in Portuguese football – and were runners-up at the Intercontinental Cup in 1961 and'62, at the European Cup in 1963,'65,'68,'88 and'90, at the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 1983, 2013 and'14. Benfica's ten European finals are a domestic record and ranked seventh all-time among UEFA clubs in 2014. Moreover, Benfica hold the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league and the record for the longest unbeaten run in Primeira Liga, where they became the first undefeated champions, in 1972–73. Benfica was ranked twelfth in FIFA Club of the Century and ninth in IFFHS Top 200 European clubs of the 20th century.
Benfica is ranked 20th in the UEFA club coefficient rankings and has the second most participations in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. In this tournament, they hold the overall record for the biggest aggregate win, achieved in 1965–66. On 28 February 1904, members of Associação do Bem met at the back of Farmácia Franco on Rua de Belém with the goal of forming a social and cultural football club called Sport Lisboa, composed of Portuguese players only. 24 people attended the meeting, including Cosme Damião, who would be the club's most important leader in the first decades. In that meeting, José Rosa Rodrigues was appointed club president, along with Daniel Brito as secretary and Manuel Gourlade as treasurer; the founders decided that the club's colours would be red and white and that the crest would be composed of an eagle, the motto "E pluribus unum" and a football. Sport Lisboa played their first match on 1 January 1905, scoring their first goal. Despite important victories, the club suffered from poor operating conditions, namely the football dirt field Terras do Desembargador.
As a result, eight players started the rivalry between the clubs. On 13 September 1908, Sport Lisboa acquired Grupo Sport Benfica by mutual agreement and changed its name to Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Despite the club merger, they continued their respective club operations. For Sport Lisboa, they maintained the football team, the shirt colours, the eagle symbol and the motto. For Grupo Sport Benfica, they maintained the field Campo da Feiteira, the main directors and the club's house. Both clubs determined that the foundation date should coincide with Sport Lisboa's because it was the most recognised club and quite popular in Lisbon due to its football merits. In regard to the crest, a cycling wheel was added to Sport Lisboa's to represent the most important sport of Grupo Sport Benfica. Furthermore, the two entities of the "new" club had simultaneous members who helped stabilise operations, which increased the success of the merger. However, problems with the club's rented field remained. Benfica moved to their first football grass field, Campo de Sete Rios, in 1913.
Four years after refusing an increase in rent, they relocated to Campo de Benfica. In 1925, they moved to their own stadium, the Estádio das Amoreiras, playing there fifteen years before moving to the Estádio do Campo Grande in 1940; the Portuguese league began in 1934, after finishing third in its first edition, Benfica won the next three championships in a row – the club's first tri, achieved by Lippo Hertzka. Throughout the 1940s, Benfica would win three more Primeira Liga and four Taça de Portugal, with coach János Biri achieving the first double for the club in 1943. Benfica's first international success happened in 1950 when they won the Latin Cup, defeating Bordeaux with a golden goal from Julinho at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon, with Ted Smith as coach, it was the first major international trophy won by a Portuguese club. They reached another final of the competition in 1957 but lost to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. With the election of president Joaquim Ferreira Bogalho in 1952 and the arrival of coach Otto Glória in 1954, Benfica became more modernised and professional and moved into the original Estádio da Luz, with an initial seating capacity of 40,000.
The Guardian is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, the Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust; the trust was created in 1936 to "secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of the Guardian free from commercial or political interference". The trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to maintain for The Guardian the same protections as were built into the structure of the Scott Trust by its creators. Profits are reinvested in journalism rather than distributed to shareholders; the current editor is Katharine Viner: she succeeded Alan Rusbridger in 2015. Since 2018, the paper's main newsprint sections have been published in tabloid format; as of November that year, its print edition had a daily circulation of 136,834.
The newspaper has an online edition, TheGuardian.com, as well as two international websites, Guardian Australia and Guardian US. The paper's readership is on the mainstream left of British political opinion, its reputation as a platform for liberal and left-wing editorial has led to the use of the "Guardian reader" and "Guardianista" as often-pejorative epithets for those of left-leaning or "politically correct" tendencies. Frequent typographical errors in the paper led Private Eye magazine to dub it the "Grauniad" in the 1960s, a nickname still used today. In an Ipsos MORI research poll in September 2018 designed to interrogate the public's trust of specific titles online, The Guardian scored highest for digital-content news, with 84% of readers agreeing that they "trust what see in it". A December 2018 report of a poll by the Publishers Audience Measurement Company stated that the paper's print edition was found to be the most trusted in the UK in the period from October 2017 to September 2018.
It was reported to be the most-read of the UK's "quality newsbrands", including digital editions. While The Guardian's print circulation is in decline, the report indicated that news from The Guardian, including that reported online, reaches more than 23 million UK adults each month. Chief among the notable "scoops" obtained by the paper was the 2011 News International phone-hacking scandal—and in particular the hacking of the murdered English teenager Milly Dowler's phone; the investigation led to the closure of the News of the World, the UK's best-selling Sunday newspaper and one of the highest-circulation newspapers in history. In June 2013, The Guardian broke news of the secret collection by the Obama administration of Verizon telephone records, subsequently revealed the existence of the surveillance program PRISM after knowledge of it was leaked to the paper by the whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In 2016, The Guardian led an investigation into the Panama Papers, exposing then-Prime Minister David Cameron's links to offshore bank accounts.
It has been named "newspaper of the year" four times at the annual British Press Awards: most in 2014, for its reporting on government surveillance. The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by cotton merchant John Edward Taylor with backing from the Little Circle, a group of non-conformist businessmen, they launched their paper after the police closure of the more radical Manchester Observer, a paper that had championed the cause of the Peterloo Massacre protesters. Taylor had been hostile to the radical reformers, writing: "They have appealed not to the reason but the passions and the suffering of their abused and credulous fellow-countrymen, from whose ill-requited industry they extort for themselves the means of a plentiful and comfortable existence, they do not toil, neither do they spin, but they live better than those that do." When the government closed down the Manchester Observer, the mill-owners' champions had the upper hand. The influential journalist Jeremiah Garnett joined Taylor during the establishment of the paper, all of the Little Circle wrote articles for the new paper.
The prospectus announcing the new publication proclaimed that it would "zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious Liberty warmly advocate the cause of Reform endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of Political Economy and support, without reference to the party from which they emanate, all serviceable measures". In 1825 the paper merged with the British Volunteer and was known as The Manchester Guardian and British Volunteer until 1828; the working-class Manchester and Salford Advertiser called the Manchester Guardian "the foul prostitute and dirty parasite of the worst portion of the mill-owners". The Manchester Guardian was hostile to labour's claims. Of the 1832 Ten Hours Bill, the paper doubted whether in view of the foreign competition "the passing of a law positively enacting a gradual destruction of the cotton manufacture in this kingdom would be a much less rational procedure." The Manchester Guardian dismissed strikes as the work of outside agitators: " if an accommodation can be effected, the occupation of the agents of the Union is gone.
They live on strife "The Manchester Guardian was critical of US President Abraham Lincoln's conduct during the US Civil War, writing on the news that Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated: "Of his rule, we can never speak except as a series of acts abhorrent to every true notion of constitutional right and human liberty " C. P. Scott ma
Carlos Salvador Bilardo is an Argentine former football player and manager. Bilardo achieved worldwide renown as a player with Estudiantes de La Plata in the 1960s, as the manager of the Argentina side that won the 1986 FIFA World Cup and came close to retaining the title in 1990, where they reached the final; as manager of Argentina, he was renowned for employing the 3–5–2 formation at the highest level. He is known by the media as el narigón. Bilardo was born in the Buenos Aires La Paternal neighbourhood to Sicilian immigrants from Mazzarino, he was drawn to football from his childhood, but did not neglect study or work. On school vacations, he would get up before dawn to haul produce to the Abasto market in Buenos Aires. Bilardo was a promising prospect in the youth divisions of major Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo de Almagro, he was drafted to the junior Argentina national football team that obtained the 1959 Pan-American title and took part in the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome. In 1961, Bilardo was transferred to second-division side Deportivo Español, where he became the team's top scorer, but he gravitated to the position of defensive midfielder.
In parallel, he continued his studies in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires. In 1965, Bilardo was transferred to Estudiantes de La Plata, where manager Osvaldo Zubeldía built a team based on the Killer youth divisions and thought of using Bilardo as a more mature anchor for the midfield. Bilardo became Estudiantes' inside-the-pitch tactician. Over a four-year span, the team won one Metropolitano title, three Copa Libertadores titles and one Intercontinental Cup in 1968 against Manchester United. After graduating as a physician, Bilardo retired from play and accepted the job of Estudiantes coach in 1971. For the next years, he divided his time between managing, his family, helping manage his father's furniture business, he found time to research rectal cancer and practice as a gynecologist. After retiring as a player, Bilardo became Estudiantes coach in 1971 and managed to get the squad into the 1971 Copa Libertadores final but lost to Nacional. In 1976, he became manager of Colombia's Deportivo Cali and after a 2-year stint he managed to get the squads into the Copa Libertadores Finals but once again failed to win the title.
After failing in the 1978 Copa Libertadores Finals, Bilardo had a short stint in San Lorenzo and became Colombia national team's trainer. When the team failed to qualify for the 1982 World Cup, he was fired from his position, Estudiantes arranged for his return to Argentina; the club was enjoying healthy finances due to the transfer of Patricio Hernández, accommodated Bilardo's request for reinforcements. The team made the semi-finals of the 1982 Nacional and went on to win the same year's Metropolitano title. Bilardo's scheme was based on Zubeldía's tactics, its attacking might earned the attention of the media—and of the top brass of the Argentine Football Association, who offered him to manage the Argentine national team, he held the post from 1983 until after the 1990 World Cup. Under his watch, Diego Maradona became the most dominant player of his age, Argentina enjoyed their best international harvest, winning the 1986 edition and reaching the 1990 final. Bilardo wrote a book called "Así Ganamos" retelling the story of Argentina's 1986 FIFA World Cup win.
From 1990 and onwards, Bilardo alternated journalism stints with managing. He would reunite with Maradona in Sevilla FC and in Boca Juniors, have a brief term as the national coach of Libya. Bilardo returned to Estudiantes for the 2003–2004 season. In a publicised episode during that season, Bilardo sat next to the pitch during a game against Club Atlético River Plate and drank from a bottle of champagne; when confronted by media, he maintained that the bottle contained Gatorade. Within that season, results improved, several young players were promoted to the first team, including José Ernesto Sosa, who would help Estudiantes become a contender. Bilardo covered the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for Argentine TV station Canal 13 as a commentator. In the aftermath of the tournament, Argentine manager José Pekerman renounced the post, Bilardo's name was floated as a possible substitute; the job went to Alfio Basile, who had earlier succeeded Bilardo as national coach after the 1990 World Cup. Following the 2007 gubernatorial election, Bilardo was named Secretary of Sports of Buenos Aires province under governor Daniel Scioli.
A new generation of Bilardo-influenced coaches has taken over many key positions in Argentine and South American football: Brown, Burruchaga, Batista and Maradona. When Maradona was named as national team coach on October 2008, Bilardo was tapped for the post of Argentina General Manager. After the designation, Bilardo agreed to quit his Secretary post. San LorenzoPrimer
Associazione Calcio Milan referred to as A. C. Milan or Milan, is a professional football club in Milan, founded in 1899; the club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980–81 and 1982–83 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929–30. A. C. Milan's 18 FIFA and UEFA trophies is the fourth highest out of any club, the most out of any Italian club. Milan has won a joint record three Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup, seven European Cup/Champions League titles, the UEFA Super Cup a joint record five times and the Cup Winners' Cup twice. With 18 league titles, Milan is the joint-second most successful club in Serie A, along with local rivals Internazionale and behind Juventus, they have won the Coppa Italia five times, the Supercoppa Italiana seven. Milan's home games are played at San Siro known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; the stadium, shared with city rivals Internazionale, is the largest in Italian football, with a total capacity of 80,018.
Inter are considered their biggest rivals, matches between the two teams are called Derby della Madonnina, one of the most followed derbies in football. The club is one of the wealthiest in Italian and world football, it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association. A. C. Milan was founded as Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club in 1899 by English expatriates Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin. Although the club itself claims 16 December of that year as its foundation date, historical evidence show that the club was founded on 13 December. In honour of its English origins, the club has retained the English spelling of the city's name, as opposed to the Italian spelling Milano, which it was forced to bear under the fascist regime. Milan won its first Italian championship in 1901 and a further two in succession in 1906 and 1907. In 1908, Milan experienced a split caused by internal disagreements over the signing of foreign players, which led to the forming of another Milan-based team, F.
C. Internazionale Milano. Following these events, Milan did not manage to win a single domestic title until 1950–51; the 1950s saw the club return to the top of Italian football, headed by the famous Gre-No-Li Swedish trio Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm. This was one of the club's most successful periods domestically, with the Scudetto going to Milan in 1951, 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1962. In 1963, Milan won its first continental title by beating Benfica in the final of the European Cup; this success was repeated in 1969, with a 4–1 win over Ajax in the final, followed by the Intercontinental Cup title the same year. During this period Milan won its first Coppa Italia, with victory over Padova in the 1967 final, two European Cup Winners' Cups: in 1967–68 and 1972–73. Milan won a tenth league title in 1979, but after the retirement of Gianni Rivera in the same year, the team went into a period of decline; the club was involved in the 1980 Totonero scandal and as punishment was relegated to Serie B for the first time in its history.
The scandal was centred around a betting syndicate paying players and officials to fix the outcome of matches. Milan achieved promotion back to Serie A at the first attempt, winning the 1980–81 Serie B title, but were again relegated a year as the team ended its 1981–82 campaign in third-last place. In 1983, Milan won the Serie B title for the second time in three seasons to return to Serie A, where they achieved a sixth-place finish in 1983–84. On 20 February 1986, entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy after investing vast amounts of money, appointing rising manager Arrigo Sacchi at the helm of the Rossoneri and signing Dutch internationals Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard; the Dutch trio added an attacking impetus to the team, complemented the club's Italian internationals Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Roberto Donadoni. Under Sacchi, Milan won its first Scudetto in nine years in the 1987–88 season; the following year, the club won its first European Cup in two decades, beating Romanian club Steaua București 4–0 in the final.
Milan retained their title with a 1–0 win over Benfica a year and was the last team to win back-to-back European Cups until Real Madrid's win in 2017. The Milan team of 1989–90, nicknamed the "Immortals" in the Italian media, has been voted the best club side of all time in a global poll of experts conducted by World Soccer magazine. After Sacchi left Milan in 1991, he was replaced by the club's former player Fabio Capello whose team won three consecutive Serie A titles between 1992 and 1994, a spell which included a 58-match unbeaten run in Serie A, back-to-back UEFA Champions League final appearances in 1993, 1994 and 1995. A year after losing 1–0 to Marseille in the 1993 Champions League final, Capello's team reached its peak in one of Milan's most memorable matches of all time, the famous 4–0 win over Barcelona in the 1994 Champions League final. Capello's side went on to win the 1995–96 league title before he left to coach Real Madrid in 1996. In 1998–99, after a two-year period of decline, Milan lifted its 16th championship in the club's centenary season.
Milan's next period of success came under Carlo Ancelotti. After his appointment in November 2001, Ancelotti took Milan to the 2003 Champions League final, where they defeated Juventus on penalties to win the club's sixth European Cup; the team won the Scudetto in 2003–04 before reaching the 2005 Champions
Football Club Internazionale Milano referred to as Internazionale or Inter and colloquially known as Inter Milan outside Italy, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy. Inter is the only Italian club to have never been relegated from the top flight. Inter has won 30 domestic trophies on par with its local rivals A. C. Milan, including 18 league titles, 7 Coppa Italia and 5 Supercoppa Italiana. From 2006 to 2010, the club won five successive league titles, equalling the all-time record at that time, they have won the Champions League three times: two back-to-back in 1964 and 1965 and another in 2010. Their latest win completed an unprecedented Italian seasonal treble, with Inter winning the Coppa Italia and the Scudetto the same year; the club has won three UEFA Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup. Inter's home games are played at the San Siro stadium known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Shared with rival A. C. Milan, the stadium is the largest in Italian football with a capacity of 80,018.
The local team A. C. Milan are considered among their biggest rivals, matches between the two teams, known as the Derby della Madonnina, are one of the most followed derbies in football; as of 2010, Inter is the second-most supported team in Italy, the sixth most-supported team in Europe. The club is one of the most valuable in Italian and world football, it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs. The club was founded on 9 March 1908 as Football Club Internazionale, following the schism with the Milan Cricket and Football Club; the name of the club derives from the wish of its founding members to accept foreign players as well as Italians. The club won its first championship in 1910 and its second in 1920; the captain and coach of the first championship winning team was Virgilio Fossati, killed in battle while serving in the Italian army during World War I. In 1922, Inter remained in the top league after winning two play-offs. Six years during the Fascist era, the club was forced to merge with the Unione Sportiva Milanese and was renamed Società Sportiva Ambrosiana.
The team wore white jerseys during this time with a red cross emblazoned on it. The jersey's design was inspired by the coat of arms of the city of Milan. In 1929, club chairman Oreste Simonotti changed the club's name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana, however supporters continued to call the team Inter, in 1931 new chairman Pozzani caved in to shareholder pressure and changed the name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana-Inter, their first Coppa Italia was won in 1938–39, led by the iconic Giuseppe Meazza, after whom the San Siro stadium is named. A fifth championship followed despite Meazza incurring an injury. After the end of World War II the club regained its original name, winning its sixth championship in 1953 and its seventh in 1954. In 1960, manager Helenio Herrera joined Inter from Barcelona, bringing with him his midfield general Luis Suárez, who won the European Footballer of the Year in the same year for his role in Barcelona's La Liga/Fairs Cup double, he would transform Inter into one of the greatest teams in Europe.
He modified a 5–3–2 tactic known as the "Verrou" which created greater flexibility for counterattacks. The catenaccio system was invented by Karl Rappan. Rappan's original system was implemented with four fixed defenders, playing a strict man-to-man marking system, plus a playmaker in the middle of the field who plays the ball together with two midfield wings. Herrera would modify it by adding a fifth defender, the sweeper or libero behind the two centre backs; the sweeper or libero who acted as the free man would deal with any attackers who went through the two centre backs. Inter finished third in the Serie A in his first season, second the next year and first in his third season. Followed a back-to-back European Cup victory in 1964 and 1965, earning him the title "il Mago"; the core of Herrera's team were the attacking fullbacks Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti, Armando Picchi the sweeper, Suárez the playmaker, Jair the winger, Mario Corso the left midfielder, Sandro Mazzola, who played on the inside-right.
In 1964, Inter reached the European Cup Final by beating Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final and Partizan in the quarter-final. In the final, they met a team that had reached seven out of the nine finals to date. Mazzola scored two goals in a 3–1 victory, the team won the Intercontinental Cup against Independiente. A year Inter repeated the feat by beating two-time winner Benfica in the final held at home, from a Jair goal, again beat Independiente in the Intercontinental Cup. In 1967, with Jair gone and Suárez injured, Inter lost the European Cup Final 2–1 to Celtic. During that year the club changed its name to Football Club Internazionale Milano. Following the golden era of the 1960s, Inter managed to win their eleventh league title in 1971 and their twelfth in 1980. Inter were defeated for the second time in five years in the final of the European Cup, going down 0–2 to Johan Cruyff's Ajax in 1972. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Inter added two to its Coppa Italia tally, in 1977–78 and 1981–82.
Led by the German duo of Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthäus, Argentine Ramón Díaz, Inter captured the 1989 Serie A championship. Inter were unable to defend their title despite adding fellow German Jürgen Klinsmann to the squad and winning their first Supercoppa Italiana at the start of the season; the 1990s was a period of disappointment. While their great rivals Milan and Juventus were achieving success both domestically and in Europe, Inter
UEFA Euro 2012 Final
The UEFA Euro 2012 Final was a football match that took place on 1 July 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, to determine the winner of UEFA Euro 2012. Spain, who had won Euro 2008 defended their title with a 4–0 win over Italy, becoming the first team to win two consecutive European Championships, the first team to win three consecutive major tournaments – Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, it was the greatest margin of victory in the history of the European Championship finals, the fourth time that teams who played each other in the group stage played each other again in the final. The winner of the European Championship gains entry to the Confederations Cup, played in Brazil in 2013. However, since Spain qualified as the 2010 World Cup champions, Italy qualified automatically as the UEFA representative, with their win in the semi-final against Germany, despite losing in the final to Spain; the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, the largest stadium of the eight Euro 2012 venues, was selected as the venue for the final, after a meeting held in Ukraine on 25 June 2007.
Prior to the tournament, the two sides had met each other 30 times, with Italy winning ten games and Spain eight. Italy won a 2 -- 1 friendly on 10 August 2011 at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari. Italy had won the European Championship once – in 1968 against Yugoslavia – while Spain had won it twice – in 1964 against the Soviet Union and in 2008 against Germany. In 2000, Italy reached the final for a second time, losing 2–1 in extra time against France, while Spain reached it in 1984, losing to France 2–0. Spain, who began the tournament as one of the favorites, ranked highest in the FIFA World Rankings, while Italy ranked twelfth overall, eighth among UEFA teams. Spain were drawn in Group C alongside Italy and Republic of Ireland, opening against Italy on 10 June 2012. Italy took the lead through striker Antonio Di Natale in the 61st minute, who had come on for Mario Balotelli. Three minutes Spain found an equaliser with midfielder Andrés Iniesta assisting Cesc Fàbregas, who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
In their next match on 14 June against Republic of Ireland, striker Fernando Torres opened the scoring early in the fourth minute, retaining the ball after Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne's unsuccessful tackle, before scoring from ten yards past defenceless goalkeeper Shay Given. In the 49th minute, after Given had blocked an Iniesta shot, David Silva collected the rebound and extended the Spanish lead, after nutmegging three defenders. With 20 minutes remaining, Torres scored his second goal, taking a pass from Silva and chipping the ball over Given. Fabregas scored the final goal after shooting from a difficult angle, their third and final group stage match against Croatia on 18 June, proved to be more difficult, Croatia had several goalscoring chances, notably from Ivan Strinić and Ivan Perišić, which Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas had no problems dealing with. The match looked like it was heading for a draw, until the 88th minute, when substitute Jesús Navas struck the winning goal, from an Iniesta assist.
Spain exploited their depth of talent starting games with international stars like Torres and Pedro on the bench, bringing them on for tactical reasons, to great success. In the quarter-finals, on 23 June 2012, Spain took on France. Spain opened the goalscoring, with defender Jordi Alba running to the touchline under pressure and sending a pinpoint cross to unmarked midfielder Xabi Alonso, who drove a powerful header past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Spain completed their win late in the second half with Alonso's penalty kick after France defender Anthony Réveillère brought down Pedro inside the penalty area. In the semi-finals on 27 June, Spain faced Portugal, who had beaten the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals, courtesy of a late Cristiano Ronaldo goal; the match was hotly contested, with Portugal pressuring the Spanish "tiki-taka" possession game high up the pitch, creating numerous goalscoring chances. However, Spain managed to hold on. Spain began to take control of the match with the introduction of Pedro and Fabregas, but failed to score over both halves, leading to a penalty shoot-out.
Alonso, who had taken a penalty kick against France, had his spot kick saved by Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patrício. Portugal looked to take the advantage, with midfielder João Moutinho as the next penalty taker. However, Casillas produced a tremendous diving save. Iniesta took his penalty with precision. Portuguese defender Pepe struck the ball just past Casillas' fingertips. Defender Gerard Piqué calmly scored in the same corner of the goal as Pepe. Another defender, Bruno Alves stepped up to take the third penalty for Portugal, midfielder Nani encouraged Alves to let him take the penalty, which Nani struck high in the left corner of the goal after sending Casillas the wrong way; the fourth Spanish penalty was taken by defender Sergio Ramos, who chipped the ball past Rui Patrício, in the style of former Czech footballer Antonín Panenka. At this point, star striker Cristiano Ronaldo was yet to shoot for Portugal, but their fourth penalty was taken by defender Bruno Alves, who struck the crossbar with a sharp rising shot.
Spain's final penalty taker was Fàbregas, who scored Spain's fifth goal, as the ball went in via the left post. Spain emerged victorious, headed to the UEFA European Championship final for the fourth time, since 1964, 1984 and 2008; as well as Spain, Italy were placed in Group C in the group stage, starting their group stage match against Spain on 10 June 2012. Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo provided the assis