Lebanon national football team
The Lebanese national football team, controlled by the Lebanon Football Association, has represented Lebanon in association football since their inception in 1933. The squad is governed by the AFC in Asia, FIFA worldwide; until 2019, Lebanon had never qualified for a major competition through qualification, they reached the main stages via qualification for the 2019 Asian Cup. Lebanon's main stadium is the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut, however they play at other stadiums such as the Saida International Stadium in Sidon. In 1934, Lebanon played their first match against the Romanian side T. A. C, but was not ratified by FIFA. Lebanon's first FIFA-recognized game, was played in 1940 against Mandatory Palestine. During their 2014 qualification campaign for the World Cup, Lebanon reached the fourth round of qualifying for the first time thanks to a 2–1 victory against South Korea at home in 2011, but failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by finishing bottom of that group. At the 2019 Asian Cup, Lebanon were close to qualifying to the knock-out stages for the first time.
However, they lost out to Vietnam in the third-place ranking on the fair play rule and were knocked out of the competition. Lebanon competes in the WAFF Championship, the Arab Nations Cup and the Pan Arab Games, they have finished third once at the Arab Nations and twice at the Pan Arab Games, in all three occasions as hosts. Inspired by their national symbol, the Lebanese team is known as "the Cedars" by media, their home kit is red and their away kit white, in reference to their national flag. After a steady decrease in their FIFA ranking from 1998 to 2016, Lebanon jumped 66 places and reached their highest rank to date – 77th – in September 2018; this came after a 15-game unbeaten streak, from 24 March 2016 to 11 October 2018, in which Lebanon won eight games and drew seven. On 22 March 1933, representatives of thirteen associations gathered in the city of Mina Al Hosn to form the Lebanon Football Association, with Lebanese journalist Nassif Majdalani helping in its formation, it joined FIFA in 1935 and the AFC in 1964.
On 27 January 1934, Beirut's International team lost to the varsity team of the American University of Beirut 5–1. The following month, a Beirut team composed of AUB varsity and Renaissance athletes played two matches against the Romanian side T. A. C. at home. The first match, on 18 February at the Edmond Rubeiz Field, ended in a 1–9 defeat; the unofficial matches are regarded. The All-Beirut Team lost again to T. A. C. on 21 November 1935 at the Varsity Field. In 1936 the Beirut XI lost 6-2 to Romania's Unirea Tricolor București, who had faced the AUB teams that year. Beirut XI, representing Lebanon, played its first game against Syria in 1939 at the Habib Abou Chahla Stadium; the team played 17 unofficial games against Damascus XI until 1963, winning nine, drawing two and losing six. The national team's first official FIFA game was a 5–1 loss to Mandatory Palestine on 27 April 1940, with Kamil scoring Lebanon's first official international goal. In 1944, Lebanon lost to an unofficial Iraq national team representing Iraq's Ministry of Education and coached by George Raynor.
During the 1950s, Lebanon was coached by Vinzenz Dittrich and Ljubiša Broćić. The side played three official games, only managing one draw, against Syria in 1953; the team played unofficial games against top-level European clubs such as Dynamo Moscow and Spartak Trnava in 1957. Lebanon played Energia Flacara Ploiesti the same year in the opening game of the Sports City Stadium; the match ended 1–0 to Lebanon thanks to a Joseph Abou Murad goal. From 19 to 27 October 1957 Lebanon hosted the second edition of the Pan Arab Games, were drawn with Saudi Arabia and Jordan in the group stages. After two 1–1 draws against Saudi Arabia and Syria, Lebanon defeated Jordan 6–3 in their first official international win thanks to two braces by Joseph Abu Murad and Mardek Chabarian and one goal each by Robert Shehada and Levon Altonian. In the semifinals, Lebanon lost 4–2 to Tunisia, they finished in third place, since Morocco withdrew from the third-place match. In 1958, Joseph Nalbandian was appointed coach of the national team.
He was one of Lebanon's most successful coaches, winning eight of 22 official matches during his 11-year tenure. Under Nalbadian, Lebanon hosted the 1959 Mediterranean Games and were grouped with Italy B and Turkey B, they finished last after four losses to the two European teams. In 1963 Lebanon hosted the inaugural edition of the Arab Cup, were grouped with Tunisia, Syria and Jordan, they won their first match against Kuwait 6–0, thanks to a hat trick by captain Levon Altonian. This tied Lebanon's biggest win to date, a 7–1 victory against Saudi Arabia in 1961. After another win and two losses, Lebanon finished third in the tournament. In the following edition, in 1966, Lebanon was drawn with Iraq, Jordan and Bahrain in Group A. After three wins and a draw, they qualified to the semi-finals against Syria, where they lost 1–0. In the third-place match Lebanon lost 6 -- 1 to Libya, their first Asian Cup qualifying campaign was in 1971, coached by Joseph Abou Murad. In the first round they lost to host Kuwait 0–1, but defeated traditional rival Syria 3–2 to qualify for the next round.
In a decisive semi-final match against Iraq, Lebanon was eliminated. Despite the country's civil war, Lebanon appeared in the 198
1996 AFC Asian Cup
The 1996 AFC Asian Cup was the 11th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation. The finals were held in the United Arab Emirates between 4 and 21 December 1996. Saudi Arabia defeated hosts United Arab Emirates in the final match in Abu Dhabi; as the runners-up, the United Arab Emirates represented the AFC in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup as the winners Saudi Arabia had qualified automatically as host. United Arab Emirates qualified automatically as host Japan qualified automatically as defending champions33 teams participated in a preliminary tournament, it was divided into the first-placed team of each group thus qualified. The other 10 qualifying teams were: China PR Indonesia Iran Iraq South Korea Kuwait Saudi Arabia Syria Thailand Uzbekistan All times are UAE time At the end of the first stage, a comparison was made between the third placed teams of each group; the two best third-placed teams advanced to the quarter-finals.
Iraq and Korea Republic qualified for the quarter-finals. All times are UAE time Khodadad Azizi Ali Daei – 8 goals Mohamed Al-Deayea Iran With eight goals, Ali Daei is the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 80 goals were scored with only one of them credited as own goal. RSSSF Details
In sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap. An early illustration of the first international football match between Scotland and England in 1872 shows the Scottish players wearing cowls, the English wearing a variety of school caps; the practice was first approved on 10 May 1886 for association football after a proposal made by N. Lane Jackson, founder of the Corinthians: That all players taking part for England in future international matches be presented with a white silk cap with red rose embroidered on the front; these to be termed International Caps. The act of awarding a cap is applied to other sports.
Although in some sports physical caps may not now always be given the term "cap" for an international or other appearance has been retained as an indicator of the number of occasions on which a sportsperson has represented a team in a particular sport. Thus, a "cap" is awarded for each game played and so a player who has played x games, for the team, is said to have been capped x times or have won x caps; the practice of awarding a physical cap varies from sport to sport. It may be awarded prior to a player's debut or for national teams, a commemorative cap may be awarded after a player reaches the 100th cap; as an example, the England men's association football teams still awards physical caps. Players are awarded one cap for every match they play — unless they play in a World Cup or European Championship finals tournament, they are given a single cap for the competition — with the names of all their opponents stitched into the fabric of the cap itself. For example, when David Beckham made his one hundredth appearance for England, because a number of his appearances had been at World Cup and European Championship final tournaments for which he received only one cap, he received only his 85th physical cap.
The world record holder for the highest number of international caps as of 5 November 2010 is retired American player Kristine Lilly, who has 354 caps. In men's association football, the record belongs to former player Ahmed Hassan of Egypt; the first footballer to win 100 international caps was Billy Wright of England's Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wright went on to appear 105 times for England, 90 of them. FIFA rules state that any club that refuses to release a player for national team duty is barred from using the player for two matches, a rule, intended to discourage clubs from pretending that the player is injured. However, it is a player's choice to refuse to retire from his or her national team; some current leading holders of association football caps are: 184 – Ahmed Hassan, Egypt 178 – Hossam Hassan, Egypt 178 – Mohamed Al-Deayea, Saudi Arabia 177 – Claudio Suárez, Mexico 178 in Mexican records 169 – Gianluigi Buffon, Italy 168 – Iván Hurtado, Ecuador 167 – Iker Casillas, Spain 166 – Vitālijs Astafjevs, Latvia 164 – Cobi Jones, United States 163 - Sergio Ramos, Spain 163 – Mohammed Al-Khilaiwi, Saudi Arabia 161 – Adnan Al-Talyani, United Arab Emirates 158 – Bader Al-Mutawa, Kuwait 157 – Landon Donovan, United States 354 – Kristine Lilly, United States World record holder 311 – Christie Rampone, United States 275 – Mia Hamm, United States 272 – Julie Foudy, United States 259 - Christine Sinclair, Canada 256 – Abby Wambach, United States 239 – Joy Fawcett, United States 231 – Heather O'Reilly, United States 214 – Birgit Prinz, Germany 214 – Therese Sjögran, SwedenBold denotes players active in international football.
In cricket, there are two types of caps. Firstly, there is the international type; some countries award a domestic type known as a "county cap". The latter system is most applied in English county cricket. Most counties do not automatically award caps to players on their first appearance. Indeed, one can play at the highest domestic level for several years, have a quite significant career in first-class cricket, without winning a cap; the world record for the number of caps in Test cricket is held by Sachin Tendulkar of India, who has, over the course of a 22-year career, collected 200. Tendulkar holds the record for One Day Internationals, with 463 caps. In rugby union, 35 players have reached 100 international caps as of 5 June 2012. Players from England, Scotland and Ireland are eligible for selection to the British and Irish Lions touring squad. Lions matches are classed as full international tests, caps are awarded; the Pacific Islanders team, composed of players from Fiji, Tonga and Cook Islands have a similar arrangement, although no players involved have so far reached 100 caps.
Players still active at Test level are in bold type. Richie McCaw, New Zealand — 148 Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland — 141 George Gregan, Australia — 139 Gethin Jenkins, Wales, 131 — Ronan O'Gara, Ireland — 130 Keven Mealamu, New Zealand — 125 Victor
Russia national football team
The Russia national football team represents Russia in association football and is controlled by the Russian Football Union, the governing body for football in Russia. Russia is a member of UEFA, they won the first edition of the respective continental competition in 1960 as the Soviet Union. Russia's home ground is the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and their current head coach is Stanislav Cherchesov. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia played its first international match against Mexico on 16 August 1992 winning 2–0 with a team of former Soviet Union players, including some born in other former Soviet republics. Led by manager Pavel Sadyrin, Russia were in Group 5 for the qualification campaign for the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States which consisted of Greece, Iceland and Luxembourg; the suspension of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia reduced the group to five teams. Russia qualified alongside Greece with six wins and two draws. Russia went to the USA to start a new era of Russian football as an independent country.
The Russian squad consisted of veterans like goalkeeper Stanislav Cherchesov, Aleksandr Borodyuk and players like Viktor Onopko, Oleg Salenko, Dmitri Cheryshev, Aleksandr Mostovoi, Vladimir Beschastnykh, Valeri Karpin. In the final tournament, Russia was drawn into group B with Cameroon and Brazil; this was considered a strong group with Russia having limited chances of qualifying for the second round. In their first two games in Detroit Russia lost 2 -- 0 to 3 -- 1 to Sweden. Teetering on elimination, Russia defeated Cameroon 6–1 in San Francisco with Oleg Salenko scoring record five goals in a single match. Russia was eliminated from the tournament with three points from two losses. Sadyrin was sacked following what was a poor performance. After Sadyrin was sacked, Oleg Romantsev was appointed coach to lead Russia to Euro 96. Romantsev was expected to perform well. In his squad he selected many players from the 1994 FIFA World Cup such as Viktor Onopko, Aleksandr Mostovoi, Vladimir Beschastnykh, Valery Karpin.
During qualifying, Russia overcame Scotland, Finland, San Marino, the Faroe Islands to finish in first place with eight wins and two draws. In the final tournament Russia was in Group C with Germany, Czech Republic, Italy. Group C was considered the'group of death' with Russia dubbed the weakest team, they were eliminated after losing 2–1 to Italy and 3–0 to Germany despite a goalless first half in the latter game. Russia's last game against the Czech Republic ended 3–3. Germany and Czech Republic went on to meet in the final. After Euro 96, Boris Ignatyev was appointed manager for the campaign to qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, retaining players from Euro 96 such as Viktor Onopko, Aleksandr Mostovoi, Valery Karpin. In the qualifying stage Russia was in Group 5 with Bulgaria, Israel and Luxembourg. Russia and Bulgaria were considered the two main contenders to qualify from the group with Israel considered a minor threat. Russia began the campaign with two victories against Cyprus and Luxembourg and two draws against Israel and Cyprus.
They continued with victories against Israel. Russia suffered their only defeat of the campaign with a 1–0 loss to Bulgaria, they ended the campaign with a 4–2 victory in the return game over Bulgaria and qualify for the play-off spot. In the play-offs, Russia was drawn with Italy. In the first leg Russia drew 1–1. In the away leg, Russia were failed to qualify for the World Cup. After failing to qualify for the World Cup in France, Russia were determined to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2000 co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. Anatoliy Byshovets was appointed as Russia manager, he made few changes to the squad by recalling players from the previous generations but did call up striker Aleksandr Panov. Russia were drawn in Group 4 for the qualifying round with France, Iceland and Andorra. Russia and France were considered as favorites for the top two spots with Ukraine being an outside contender. Russia began their campaign with three straight defeats to Ukraine and Iceland. Outraged by this result, the Russian Football Union sacked Byshovets and reappointed Oleg Romantsev as manager.
The reappointment of Romanstev as manager brought a complete turn-around to Russia's campaign. They went on to win their next six games including a 3–2 victory over France at the Stade de France. In their last game against Ukraine, a win for Russia would have resulted in outright qualification as the winners of the group, having an identical head-to-head record with France, while possessing a superior goal difference. Russia took a 1–0 lead. Russia finished third in the group, failing to qualify for their second major tournament in succession. Oleg Romantsev remained as manager of the national team to supervise their qualification campaign to the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan. In the preliminary stage Russia was in Group 1 with Slovenia, FR Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg. Russia were once again considered the favourites to qualify along with either Switzerland or Yugoslavia. Russia finished their campaign in fir
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the Gulf of Aden. To the north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Gulf of Suez; the Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift, part of the Great Rift Valley; the Red Sea has a surface area of 438,000 km2, is about 2250 km long and, at its widest point, 355 km wide. It has a maximum depth of 3,040 m in the central Suakin Trough, an average depth of 490 m. However, there are extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals; the sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species, 200 soft and hard corals. It is the world's northernmost tropical sea; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Red Sea as follows: On the North. The Southern limits of the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba. On the South. A line joining Husn Murad and Ras Siyyan. Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek Erythra Thalassa, Latin Mare Rubrum, Arabic: البحر الأحمر, translit.
Al-Baḥr Al-Aḥmar, Somali Badda Cas and Tigrinya Qeyyiḥ bāḥrī. The name of the sea may signify the seasonal blooms of the red-coloured Trichodesmium erythraeum near the water's surface. A theory favoured by some modern scholars is that the name red is referring to the direction south, just as the Black Sea's name may refer to north; the basis of this theory is that some Asiatic languages used colour words to refer to the cardinal directions. Herodotus on one occasion uses Red Southern Sea interchangeably; the name in Hebrew Yam Suph (Hebrew: ים סוף, lit.'Sea of Reeds' is of biblical origin. The name in Coptic: ⲫⲓⲟⲙ `ⲛϩⲁϩ Phiom Enhah is connected to Egyptian root ḥḥ which refers to water and sea, it was known to western geographers as Mare Mecca, Sinus Arabicus. Some ancient geographers called the Red Sea the Arabian Gulf of Arabia; the association of the Red Sea with the biblical account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is ancient, was made explicit in the Septuagint translation of the Book of Exodus from Hebrew to Koine Greek in the third century B.
C. In that version, the Yam Suph is translated as Erythra Thalassa; the Red Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms — the others being the Black Sea, the White Sea and the Yellow Sea. The direct rendition of the Greek Erythra thalassa in Latin as Mare Erythraeum refers to the north-western part of the Indian Ocean, to a region on Mars; the earliest known exploration of the Red Sea was conducted by ancient Egyptians, as they attempted to establish commercial routes to Punt. One such expedition took place around 2500 BC, another around 1500 BC. Both involved long voyages down the Red Sea. Scholars argued whether these trips were possible; the biblical Book of Exodus tells the account of the Israelites' crossing of a body of water, which the Hebrew text calls Yam Suph. Yam Suph was traditionally identified as the Red Sea. Rabbi Saadia Gaon, in his Judeo-Arabic translation of the Pentateuch, identifies the crossing place of the Red Sea as Baḥar al-Qulzum, meaning the Gulf of Suez.
In the 6th century BC, Darius the Great of Persia sent reconnaissance missions to the Red Sea and extending navigation by locating many hazardous rocks and currents. A canal was built between the northern end of the Red Sea at Suez. In the late 4th century BC, Alexander the Great sent Greek naval expeditions down the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. Greek navigators continued to compile data on the Red Sea. Agatharchides collected information about the sea in the 2nd century BC; the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a Greek periplus written by an unknown author around the 1st century AD, contains a detailed description of the Red Sea's ports and sea routes. The Periplus describes how Hippalus first discovered the direct route from the Red Sea to India; the Red Sea was favored for Roman trade with India starting with the reign of Augustus, when the Roman Empire gained control over the Mediterranean and the northern Red Sea. The route grew in the volume of traffic under the Romans. From Indian ports goods from China were introduced to the Roman world.
Contact between Rome and China depended on the Red Sea, but the route was broken by the Aksumite Empire around the 3rd century AD. During the Middle Ages, the Red Sea was an important part of the spice trade route. In 1513, trying to secure that channel to Portugal, Afonso de Albuquerque laid siege to Aden but was forced to retreat, they cruised the Red Sea inside the Bab al-Mandab, as the first European fleet to have sailed these waters. In 1798, France ordered General Napoleon to take control of the Red Sea. Although he failed in his mission, the engineer Jean-Baptiste Lepère, wh
Sweden national football team
The Sweden national football team represents Sweden in association football and is controlled by the Swedish Football Association, the governing body for football in Sweden. Sweden's home ground is Friends Arena in Stockholm and the team is coached by Janne Andersson. From 1945 to late 1950s, they were considered one of the greatest teams in Europe. Sweden made their first World Cup appearance in 1934. Sweden has made six appearances in the European Championships, they finished second in the 1958 FIFA World Cup, third in both 1950 and 1994. Sweden's accomplishments include a gold medal in the 1948 Summer Olympics, bronze medals in 1924 and 1952, they reached the semi-finals in UEFA Euro 1992. Sweden has traditionally been a strong team in international football, with 11 World Cup appearances and 3 medals in the Olympics; the Swedish team finished second in the 1958 World Cup, when it was the host team, being beaten by Brazil 5–2 in the final. Sweden has finished third twice, in 1950 and 1994. In 1938, they finished fourth.
Sweden played its first international game against Norway on 12 an 11 -- 3 victory. Other matches in 1908 were played against Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium. In the same year, Sweden competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics for the first time. Sweden, lost a game in the Olympics against the Great Britain 1–12, the biggest loss in the Swedish national team's history. In 1916, Sweden defeated Denmark for the first time. Sweden played in the 1912 Olympics, the 1920 Olympics, in the 1924 Olympics, where Sweden took the bronze and their first medal ever; the 1938 World Cup was Sweden's second qualification for the World Cup. In the first round, they were scheduled to play against Austria, but after Germany's occupation of Austria, the Austrian team could not continue playing in the tournament. Instead, Sweden went straight to the quarter-finals match against Cuba, they beat Cuba 8 -- 0 with both Harry Gustav Wetterström scoring hat-tricks. In the semi-final match against Hungary, Sweden lost 1–5.
Sweden's next match was the third-place match against Brazil. In that game the Swedes lost 2–4, ended in fourth place for the first and only time in Swedish football history. In the first round, Sweden played against Austria; the Austrian team had qualified without their professional players, a surprise since the Austrian league had many professional players who were allowed to play in the tournament. The match was played at White Hart Lane in London and Sweden won 3–0. In the second game, Sweden played against Korea and won 12–0, one of the two largest margin wins Sweden has had. In the semi-final Sweden met their archrivals from Denmark beating them 4–2; the final was played at legendary Wembley Stadium in London. The attendance was around 40,000 people, high for a football game in those days. Sweden took on Yugoslavia in the final and won 3–1, with goals by Gunnar Gren, Stjepan Bobek and Gunnar Nordahl; this was Sweden's first championship win in any international football tournament. In the 1950 World Cup, the Swedish football association did not allow any professional Swedish football players to take part.
Sweden only fielded amateur players during the tournament. Qualifying for the tournament as one of six European national teams, Sweden played in the same group as Italy and Paraguay. In the first match, Sweden beat Italy 3–2 in São Paulo; the second match was a 2–2 draw against Paraguay. With the most points in the group, Sweden advanced to the next round, their first game in the second stage – a group format – was against the hosts Brazil. It was played at the Maracanã Stadium with a total attendance of more than 138,000, to this day the record attendance for the Swedish national team; the game ended 7–1 to Brazil and it is rumored that everyone in the Brazilian audience waved the Swedes goodbye with their scarfs. The next game was against Uruguay, who Sweden played against for the first time in World Cup history. Played in São Paulo, Uruguay won the game 3 -- 2; the final game for Sweden in the tournament was played against Spain. Sweden won 3 -- 1 with goals by Bror Mellberg and Karl-Erik Palmér.
Sweden took their first World Cup medal. As Sweden was the best placed European team, Sweden was, as the time, regarded "unofficial European champions". At the Summer Olympics in 1952 in Helsinki, Sweden continued to achieve success and won an Olympic bronze; the following year, the Football Association decided not to allow foreign professionals to play in the national team and the team failed to qualify for the World Championships in Switzerland in 1954 when Sweden only came second in their qualifying group behind Belgium. In 1956, the Swedish football federation allowed the professional footballers to play for the national team again, giving Swedish football fans hope for the 1958 FIFA World Cup. Sweden, the host nation, were in the same group as Mexico and Wales; the first game, Sweden vs Mexico, was played at Sweden's national stadium, Råsunda Stadium and was attended by around 32,000 people. Sweden won the game 3–0, taking the lead in Group 3; the next match was against Hungary, who had finished 2nd in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland and were the 1952 Olympic Champions.
Played at Råsunda, this game ended 2–1 to Sweden, with both goals scored by Kurt Hamrin. In the next match, against Wales, Sweden drew 0–0. Making it through to the quarter-finals, playing at Råsunda for the fourth time in this tournament, Sweden
Italy national football team
The Italy national football team has represented Italy in association football since their first match in 1910. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—the latter of, co-founded by the Italian team's supervising body, the Italian Football Federation. Italy's home matches are played at various stadiums throughout Italy, their primary training ground is located at the FIGC headquarters in Coverciano, Florence. Italy is one of the most successful national teams in the history of the World Cup, having won four titles and appearing in two other finals, reaching a third place and a fourth place. In 1938, they became the first team to defend their World Cup title, due to the outbreak of World War II, retained the title for a further 12 years. Italy had previously won two Central European International Cups. Between its first two World Cup victories, Italy won the Olympic football tournament. After the majority of the team was killed in a plane crash in 1949, the team did not advance past the group stage of the following two World Cup tournaments, failed to qualify for the 1958 edition—failure to qualify for the World Cup would not happen again until the 2018 edition.
Italy returned to form by 1968, winning a European Championship, after a period of alternating unsuccessful qualification rounds in Europe appeared in two other finals. Italy's highest finish at the FIFA Confederations Cup was in 2013, where the squad achieved a third-place finish; the team is known as gli Azzurri. Blue is the traditional colour of the national teams representing Italy and it comes from the border colour of the royal House of Savoy crest used on the flag of the Kingdom of Italy; the national team is known for its long-standing rivalries with other top footballing nations, such as those with Brazil, France and Spain. In the FIFA World Ranking, in force since August 1993, Italy has occupied the first place several times, in November 1993 and during 2007, with its worst placement in August 2018 in 21st place; the team's first match was held in Milan on 15 May 1910. Italy defeated France by a score of 6–2, with Italy's first goal scored by Pietro Lana; the Italian team played with a system and consisted of: De Simoni.
First captain of the team was Francesco Calì. The first success in an official tournament came with the bronze medal in 1928 Summer Olympics, held in Amsterdam. After losing the semi-final against Uruguay, an 11–3 victory against Egypt secured third place in the competition. In the 1927–30 and 1933–35 Central European International Cup, Italy achieved the first place out of five Central European teams, topping the group with 11 points in both editions of the tournament. Italy would later win the gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics with a 2–1 victory in extra time in the gold medal match over Austria on 15 August 1936. After declining to participate in the first World Cup the Italian national team won two consecutive editions of the tournament in 1934 and 1938, under the direction of coach Vittorio Pozzo and the performance of Giuseppe Meazza, considered one of the best Italian football players of all time by some. Italy hosted the 1934 World Cup, played their first World Cup match in a 7–1 win over the United States in Rome.
Italy defeated Czechoslovakia 2–1 in extra time in the final in Rome, with goals by Raimundo Orsi and Angelo Schiavio to achieve their first World cup title in 1934. They achieved their second title in 1938 in a 4–2 defeat of Hungary, with two goals by Gino Colaussi and two goals by Silvio Piola in the World Cup that followed. Rumour has it, before the 1938 finals fascist Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini was to have sent a telegram to the team, saying "Vincere o morire!". However, no record remains of such a telegram, World Cup player Pietro Rava said, when interviewed, "No, no, no, that's not true, he sent a telegram wishing us well, but no never'win or die'." In 1949, 10 of the 11 players in the team's initial line-up were killed in a plane crash that affected Torino, winners of the previous five Serie A titles. Italy did not advance further than the first round of the 1950 World Cup, as they were weakened due to the air disaster; the team had travelled by boat rather than by plane. In the World Cup finals of 1954 and 1962, Italy failed to progress past the first round, did not qualify for the 1958 World Cup due to a 2–1 defeat to Northern Ireland in the last match of the qualifying round.
Italy did not take part in the first edition of the European Championship in 1960, was knocked out by the Soviet Union in the first round of the 1964 European Nations' Cup qualifying. Their participation in the 1966 World Cup was ended by a 0–1 defeat at the hands of North Korea. Despite being the tournament favourites, the Azzurri, whose 1966 squad included Gianni Rivera and Giacomo Bulgarelli, were eliminated in the first round by the semi-professional North Koreans; the Italian team was bitterly condemned upon their return home, while North Korean scorer Pak Doo-ik was celebrated as the David who killed Goliath. Upon Italy's return home, furious fans threw fruit and rotten tomatoes at their transport bus at the airport. In 1968, Italy participated in their first European Championship, hosting the European Championship and winning their first major competition since the 1938 World Cup, beating Yugoslavia in Rome for the title. Th