Serie A called Serie A TIM due to sponsorship by TIM, is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system and the winner is awarded the Coppa Campioni d'Italia. It has been operating for over eighty years since the 1929–30 season, it had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, when the Lega Serie A was created for the 2010–11 season. Serie A is regarded as one of the best football leagues in the world and it is depicted as the most tactical national league. Serie A was the world's second-strongest national league in 2014 according to IFFHSand has produced the highest number of European Cup finalists: Italian clubs have reached the final of the competition on 27 occasions, winning the title 12 times. Serie A is ranked third among European leagues according to UEFA's league coefficient, behind La Liga, Premier League, ahead of Bundesliga and Ligue 1, based on the performance of Italian clubs in the Champions League and the Europa League during the last five years.
Serie A led the UEFA ranking from 1986 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1999. In its current format, the Italian Football Championship was revised from having regional and interregional rounds, to a single-tier league from the 1929–30 season onwards; the championship titles won prior to 1929 are recognised by FIGC with the same weighting as titles that were subsequently awarded. However, the 1945–46 season, when the league was played over two geographical groups due to the ravages of WWII, is not statistically considered if its title is official. All the winning teams are recognised with the title of Campione d'Italia, ratified by the Lega Serie A before the start of the next edition of the championship; the league hosts three of the world's most famous clubs as Juventus and Internazionale, all founding members of the G-14, a group which represented the largest and most prestigious European football clubs from 2000 to 2008, being the first two cited founding members of its successive organisation, European Club Association.
More players have won the coveted Ballon d'Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any league in the world other than Spain's La Liga. – although Spain's La Liga has the highest total number of Ballon d'Or winners. Juventus, Italy's most successful club of the 20th century and the most successful Italian team, is tied for fourth in Europe and eighth in the world with the most official international titles; the club is the only one in the world to have won all possible official confederation competitions. Milan is joint third club for official international titles won in the world, with 18. Internazionale, following their achievements in the 2009–10 season, became the first Italian team to have achieved a treble. Inter are the only team in Italian football history to have never been relegated. Juventus and Inter, along with Roma, Fiorentina and Napoli, are known as the Seven Sisters of Italian football. Serie A is one of the most storied football leagues in the world. Of the 100 greatest footballers in history chosen by FourFourTwo magazine in 2017, 42 players have played in Serie A, more than any other league in the world.
Juventus is the team that has produced the most World Cup champions, with Inter and Milan, being third and ninth in that ranking. Serie A, as it is structured today, began during the 1929–30 season. From 1898 to 1922, the competition was organised into regional groups; because of growing teams attending regional championships, the Italian Football Federation split the CCI in 1921. When CCI teams rejoined the FIGC created two interregional divisions renaming Categories into Divisions and splitting FIGC sections into two North-South leagues. In 1926, due to internal crises, the FIGC changed internal settings, adding southern teams to the national division leading to the 1929–30 final settlement. No title was awarded in 1927 after Torino were stripped of the championship by the FIGC. Torino were declared champions in the 1948–49 season following a plane crash near the end of the season in which the entire team was killed; the Serie A Championship title is referred to as the scudetto because since the 1924–25 season, the winning team will bear a small coat of arms with the Italian tricolour on their strip in the following season.
The most successful club is Juventus with 34 championships, followed by both Milan and Internazionale, with 18 championships apiece. From the 2004–05 season onwards, an actual trophy was awarded to club on the pitch after the last turn of the championship; the trophy, called the Coppa Campioni d'Italia, has been used since the 1960–61 season, but between 1961 and 2004 was consigned to the winning clubs at the head office of the Lega Nazionale Professionisti. In April 2009, Serie A announced a split from Serie B. Nineteen of the twenty clubs voted in favour of the move in an argument over television rights. Maurizio Beretta, the former head of Italy's employers' association, became president of the new league. In April 2016, it was announced that Serie A was selected by the International Football Association Board to test video replays, which were private for the 2016–17 season, allowing them to become a live pilot phase, with replay assistance implemented in the 2017–18 season. On the decision, FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio said, "We were among the first supporters of using technology on the pitch and we believe we have everything required to offer our contribution to this important experiment."
For most of Serie A's history, there were 16 or 18
Football in Italy
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, trailing only Brazil, runners-up in two finals and reaching a third place and a fourth place. They have won one European Championship appearing in two finals, finished third at the Confederations Cup, won one Olympic football tournament and two Central European International Cups. Italy's top domestic league, the Serie A, is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world and it is depicted as the most tactical national football league. Italy's club sides have won 48 major European trophies, making them the second most successful nation in European football. Serie A hosts three of the world's most famous clubs as Juventus and Inter, all founding members of the G-14, a group which represented the largest and most prestigious European football clubs. Juventus and Inter, along with Roma, Fiorentina and Parma but now Napoli are known as the Seven Sisters of Italian football.
Italian managers are the most successful in European Football in competitions such as the Champions League. More players have won the coveted Ballon d'Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any other league in the world. Other forms of football were played in Italy in ancient times, the earliest of, Harpastum, played during the times of the Roman Empire; this game may have been influential to other forms throughout Europe due to the expansion of the Empire, including Medieval football. From the 16th century onwards, Calcio Fiorentino, another code of football distinct from the modern game, was played in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence; some famous Florentines were amongst players of the game the Medici family including Piero and Alessandro de' Medici. As well as Popes such as Clement VII, Leo XI and Urban VIII who played the game in the Vatican; the name calcio was adopted for football in Italy. The modern variation of the game was brought to Italy during the 1880s; the title of the first Italian football club is a controversial one, the most cited in popular history is Genoa Cricket and Football Club who were formed as a cricket club to represent England abroad, founded by Englishmen in 1893.
Three years in 1896 a man named James Richardson Spensley arrived in Genoa introducing the football section of the club and becoming its first manager. However, evidence exists to suggest. Edoardo Bosio, a merchant worker in the British textile industry had visited England and experienced the game, he was motivated to help spread football in his homeland. He founded Cricket Club that year while Nobili Torino soon followed; the second club bore the name of noble because it contained the Duke of the Abruzzi and Alfonso Ferrero di Ventimiglia. The two merged in 1891 to form Internazionale Football Club Torino, By 1898 the rival federation FIGC had been formed, with its center in Turin and the first two presidents as Mario Vicary and Luigi D'Ovidio. FIGC created the Italian Football Championship with the four founder clubs being; the first competition of, held at Velodromo Umberto I in Turin on 8 May 1898 and was won by Genoa. While it was common for clubs to compete in both FIGC and FNGI competitions early on, the titles won in the FIGC championship are the only ones recognised by the modern day league.
In the following years, the tournament was structured into regional groups with the winners of each group participating in a playoff with the eventual winners being declared champions. Until to 1904 the tournament was dominated by Genoa. Between 1905 and 1908 a Final Group among regional champions was contested to award the title and the Spensley Cup. Juventus won his first title and Spensley Cup in 1905, but the two following championships were won by Milan. In November 1907, the FIF organised two championships in the same season: Italian Championship, the main tournament where only Italian players were allowed to play; the majority of big clubs withdrew from both the championships in order to protest against the autarchical policy of the FIF. The Federal Championship was won by Juventus against Doria, while The Italian Championship 1908 and Coppa Buni were won by Pro Vercelli, beating Juventus, Doria and US Milanese. However, the Federal Championship won by Juventus was forgotten by FIGC, due to the boycott made by the dissident clubs.
In 1909 season, the two different championships were organised again, with Coppa Obe
Away colours are a choice of coloured clothing used in team sports. They are required to be worn by one team during a game between teams that would otherwise wear the same colours as each other, or similar colours; this change prevents confusion for officials and spectators. In most sports, it is the visiting or road team that must change – second-choice kits are known as away kits or change kits in British English, road uniforms in American English; some sports leagues mandate that away teams must always wear an alternative kit, while others state that the two teams' colours should not match. In some sports, conventionally the home team has changed its kit. In most cases, a team wears its away kit only when its primary kit would clash with the colours of the home team. However, sometimes teams wear away colours by choice even in a home game. At some clubs, the away kit has become more popular than the home version. Replica home and away kits are available for fans to buy; some teams have produced third-choice kits, or old-fashioned throwback uniforms.
In North American sports, road teams wear a change uniform regardless of a potential colour clash. "Color vs. color" games are a rarity, having been discouraged in the era of black-and-white television. All road uniforms are white in gridiron football and the National Hockey League, while in baseball, visitors wear grey. In the National Basketball Association and NCAA basketball, home uniforms are white or yellow, visiting teams wear the darker colour. Most teams choose to wear their colour jerseys at home, with the road team changing to white in most cases. White road uniforms gained prominence with the rise of television in the 1950s. A "white vs. color" game was easier to follow in black-and-white. According to Phil Hecken, "until the mid 1950′s, not only was color versus color common in the NFL, it was the norm." Long after the advent of colour television, the use of white jerseys has remained in every game. The NFL's current rules require that a team's home jerseys must be "either white or official team color" throughout the season, "and visiting clubs must wear the opposite".
If a team insists on wearing its home uniforms on the road, the NFL Commissioner must judge on whether their uniforms are "of sufficient contrast" with those of their opponents. The road team might instead wear a third jersey, such as the Seattle Seahawks' "Wolf Grey" alternate. According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the Cleveland Browns wore white for every home game of the 1955 season; the only times they wore brown was for games at Philadelphia and the New York Giants, when the Eagles and Giants chose to wear white. In 1964 the Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams wore white for their home games according to Tim Brulia's research; the St. Louis Cardinals wore white for several of their home games, as well as the Dallas Cowboys; until 1964 Dallas had worn blue at home, but it was not an official rule that teams should wear their coloured jerseys at home. The use of white jerseys was introduced by general manager Tex Schramm, who wanted fans to see a variety of opponents' jersey colours at home games.
The Cowboys still wear white at home today. White has been worn at home by the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, several other NFL teams. Teams in cities with hot climates choose white jerseys at home during the first half of the season, because light colours absorb and retain less heat in sunlight – as such, the Dolphins, who stay white year-round, will use their coloured jerseys for home night games; every current NFL team except the Seattle Seahawks has worn white at home at some time in its history. During the successful Joe Gibbs era, the Washington Redskins chose to wear white at home in the 1980s and 1990s, including the 1982 NFC Championship Game against Dallas. Since 2001 the Redskins have chosen to wear white jerseys and burgundy jerseys equally in their home games, but they still wear white against the Cowboys; when Gibbs returned from 2004 to 2007, they wore white at home exclusively. In 2007, they wore a white throwback jersey; the Dallas Cowboys' blue jersey has been popularly viewed to be "jinxed" because of defeats at Super Bowl V in 1971, in the 1968 divisional playoffs at Cleveland, Don Meredith's final game as a Cowboys player.
Dallas's only victory in a conference championship or Super Bowl wearing the blue jerseys was in the 1978 NFC Championship game at the Los Angeles Rams. Super Bowl rules changed to allow the designated home team to pick their choice of jersey. White was chosen by the Cowboys, the Redskins, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots; the latter three teams wear colours at home, but Pittsburgh had worn white in three road playoff wins, while Denver cited its previous Super Bowl success in white jerseys, while being 0–4 when wearing orange in Super Bowls. Teams playing against Dallas at home wear their white jerseys to try to invoke the "curse", as when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship Game. Teams including the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants followed suit in the 1980s, the Carolina Panthers did so from 1995 until 2006, including two playoff games; the Hous
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sport's Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, prohibit the use of anything, dangerous to either the player or another participant. Individual competitions may stipulate further restrictions, such as regulating the size of logos displayed on shirts and stating that, in the event of a match between teams with identical or similar colours, the away team must change to different coloured attire. Footballers wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. A team of players wore numbers from 1 to 11, corresponding to their playing positions, but at the professional level this has been superseded by squad numbering, whereby each player in a squad is allocated a fixed number for the duration of a season. Professional clubs usually display players' surnames or nicknames on their shirts, above their squad numbers. Football kit has evolved since the early days of the sport when players wore thick cotton shirts and heavy rigid leather boots.
In the twentieth century, boots became lighter and softer, shorts were worn at a shorter length, advances in clothing manufacture and printing allowed shirts to be made in lighter synthetic fibres with colourful and complex designs. With the rise of advertising in the 20th century, sponsors' logos began to appear on shirts, replica strips were made available for fans to purchase, generating significant amounts of revenue for clubs; the Laws of the Game set out the basic equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4: The Players' Equipment. Five separate items are specified: shirt, socks and shin pads. Goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify. Shirts must have sleeves, goalkeepers must wear shirts which are distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts must be the same colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, "provide a reasonable degree of protection".
The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player "must not use equipment or wear anything, dangerous to himself or another player". It is normal for individual competitions to specify that all outfield players on a team must wear the same colours, though the Law states only "The two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other and the referee and the assistant referees". In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour; because of this requirement a team's second-choice is referred to as its "away kit" or "away colours", although it is not unknown at international level, for teams to opt to wear their away colours when not required to by a clash of colours, or to wear them at home. The England national team sometimes plays in red shirts when it is not required, as this was the strip worn when the team won the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In some cases both teams have been forced to wear their second choice away kits.
Many professional clubs have a "third kit", ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the same basic colour scheme for several decades, the colours themselves form an integral part of a club's culture. Teams representing countries in international competition wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation; these are based on the colours of the country's national flag, although there are exceptions—the Italian national team, for example, wear blue as it was the colour of the House of Savoy, the Australian team like most Australian sporting teams wear the Australian National Colours of green and gold, neither of which appear on the flag, the Dutch national team wear orange, the colour of the Dutch Royal House. Shirts are made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Most professional clubs have sponsors' logos on the front of their shirts, which can generate significant levels of income, some offer sponsors the chance to place their logos on the back of their shirts.
Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed. Competitions such as the Premier League may require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. A player's number is printed on the back of the shirt, although international teams also place numbers on the front, professional teams print a player's surname above their number; the captain of each team is required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify them as the captain to the referee and supporters. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be made either of
Piedmont is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest, it has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin; the name Piedmont comes from medieval Latin Pedemontium or Pedemontis, i.e. ad pedem montium, meaning “at the foot of the mountains” attested in documents of the end of the 12th century. Other towns of Piedmont with more than 20,000 inhabitants sorted by population: Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including Monviso, where the Po rises, Monte Rosa, it borders with France and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Aosta Valley and for a small fragment with Emilia Romagna. The geography of Piedmont is 43.3 % mountainous, along with extensive areas of plains. Piedmont is the second largest of Italy's 20 regions, after Sicily, it is broadly coincident with the upper part of the drainage basin of the river Po, which rises from the slopes of Monviso in the west of the region and is Italy's largest river.
The Po drains the semicircle formed by the. From the highest peaks, the land slopes down to hilly areas, to the upper, to the lower great Padan Plain; the boundary between the two is characterised by resurgent springs—typical of the Padan Plain—which supply fresh water to the rivers and a dense network of irrigation canals. The countryside is diverse: from the rugged peaks of the massifs of Monte Rosa and of Gran Paradiso, to the damp rice paddies of Vercelli and Novara, from the gentle hillsides of the Langhe and of Montferrat to the plains. 7.6% of the entire territory is considered protected area. There are 56 different national or regional parks, one of the most famous is the Gran Paradiso National Park located between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. Piedmont was inhabited in early historic times by Celtic-Ligurian tribes such as the Taurini and the Salassi, they were subdued by the Romans, who founded several colonies there including Augusta Taurinorum and Eporedia. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was successively invaded by the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, East Romans and Franks.
In the 9th -- 10th centuries there were further incursions by the Saracens. At the time Piedmont, as part of the Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire, was subdivided into several marches and counties. In 1046, Oddo of Savoy added Piedmont with a capital at Chambéry. Other areas remained independent, such as the powerful comuni of Asti and Alessandria and the marquisates of Saluzzo and Montferrat; the County of Savoy was elevated to a duchy in 1416, Duke Emanuele Filiberto moved the seat to Turin in 1563. In 1720, the Duke of Savoy became King of Sardinia, founding what evolved into the Kingdom of Sardinia and increasing Turin's importance as a European capital; the Republic of Alba was created in 1796 as a French client republic in Piedmont. A new client republic, the Piedmontese Republic, existed between 1798 and 1799 before it was reoccupied by Austrian and Russian troops. In June 1800 a third client republic, the Subalpine Republic, was established in Piedmont, it fell under full French control in 1801 and it was annexed by France in September 1802.
In the congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Sardinia was restored, furthermore received the Republic of Genoa to strengthen it as a barrier against France. Piedmont was a springboard for Italy's unification in 1859–1861, following earlier unsuccessful wars against the Austrian Empire in 1820–1821 and 1848–1849; this process is sometimes referred to as Piedmontisation. However, the efforts were countered by the efforts of rural farmers; the House of Savoy became Kings of Italy, Turin became the capital of Italy. However, when the Italian capital was moved to Florence, to Rome, the administrative and institutional importance of Piedmont was reduced and the only remaining recognition to Piedmont's historical role was that the crown prince of Italy was known as the Prince of Piedmont. After Italian unification, Piedmont was one of the most important regions in the first Italian industrialization. Lowland Piedmont is a fertile agricultural region; the main agricultural products in Piedmont are cereals, including rice, representing more than 10% of national production, grapes for wine-making and milk.
With more than 800,000 head of cattle in 2000, livestock production accounts for half of final agricultural production in Piedmont. Piedmont is one of the great winegrowing regions in Italy. More than half of its 700 square kilometres of vineyards are registered with DOC designations, it produces prestigious wines as Barolo, from the Langhe near Alba, the Moscato d'Asti as well as the sparkling Asti from the vineyards around Asti. Indigenous grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Freisa and Brachetto; the region contains major industrial centres, the main of, Turin, home to the FIAT automobile works. Olivetti, once a major electronics industry whose plant was in Scarmagno, near Ivrea, has now turned into a small-sc
Valenza is a comune in the Province of Alessandria in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 80 kilometres east of Turin and about 11 kilometres north of Alessandria. A stronghold of the Ligures, it was conquered by the Romans in the 2nd century BC, became a forum as Forum Fulvii Valentinum, having law jurisdiction and a market. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, most of the population moved from the hills of the previous settlement to live where the current town is, it was ruled by the Lombards. After the Frank conquest of northern Italy, it became part of the mark of Montferrat. Overshadowed by the power of the nearby Alessandria, it attracted the attentions of Galeazzo I Visconti, duke of Milan, but his plot to capture the city failed; the Viscount were however able to conquer Valenza in 1370. The town was sacked by the French troops, reconquered by the Spaniards under Charles V and again captured by the French. However, in the latter year it was given back to Charles V. Again surrendered to the French in 1557, it was assigned to Spain in 1559 by the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis.
In 1635, during the Thirty Years' War, Valenza resisted for 60 days a siege from French and Savoyard troops. During the part of the Franco-Spanish War, it again withstood a French siege in 1641, but in 1656, after 70 days of siege, it capitulated to French and Modenese troops. Valaenza was besieged again in 1696, but this time the French and Savoyards were unable to capture it. In 1707, in the course of the War of Spanish Succession, it was conquered by Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, who had its possession confirmed in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht. Thenceforth Valenza followed Piedmontese-Sardinian history, after 1861 that of the kingdom of Italy; the city of Valenza in collaboration with the Brotherhood of San Bernardino reward every year since 1988 the best jeweler with the statuette of San Eligio. The San Eligio was given to Damiano Grassi, Lucinano Saoco, Dirce Repossi, Marco Moraglione, Silvio Valarelli, Daro Rota, Piero Lunati... This statuette aims to reward the artisans who help the city of Valenza building the reputation of Italian Capital Jewelry.
Rocca Imperiale, Italy
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