World Cup 2010: Italy

World Cup 2010: ITALY

FIFA ranking: 5

Overall World Cup record: 44-14-19

Coach: Marcello Lippi


Best performance: Winner, 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006

Overview: The Azzurri were a 10-to-1 shot entering the 2006 World Cup, the Italian Serie A was engulfed in scandal and no one gave Lippi’s team much of a chance. Four weeks later it was the world champion. That’s why Lippi was brought back as coach and why Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo, Alberto Gilardino and Co. think they can win it all again. But no team has repeated since Brazil successfully defended its World Cup title in 1962.

-- Grahame L. Jones