The Azzurri had appeared in three EURO deciders before summer 2021 – we look back at how they fared.
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Italy played their fourth EURO final in summer 2021 and, at long last, were able to scratch a 53-year itch at Wembley Stadium.
The Azzurri had lifted the trophy back in 1968 but suffered defeats in their two more recent appearances in the decider before their long-awaited Wembley success. EURO2020.com looks back through the tournament archives.The final: live coverage
This was the only EURO final ever to go to a replay. Hosts Italy were grateful for a second chance too, having appeared destined for defeat when Dragan Džajić prodded the talented Yugoslavia side ahead before the break, but Angelo Domenghini's thumping free-kick with ten minutes left forced a second game in Rome.
Ferruccio Valcareggi made five changes for the return two days later, and the likes of Sandro Mazzola and Luigi Riva made the difference, the latter striking early by controlling Domenghini's mis-hit shot and firing past Ilija Pantelić. Pietro Anastasi's second was worthy of settling the contest, the striker receiving Giancarlo De Sisti's angled pass and volleying superbly across the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
In contrast to 1968, a late French equaliser marked the beginning of the end for the Azzurri in this Rotterdam showdown, as Les Bleus proceeded to prevail via a golden goal. Until then, 1968 veteran Dino Zoff had looked to be on the verge of masterminding a famous victory, Marco Delvecchio having volleyed in from close range after Francesco Totti's clever back-heel released Gianluca Pessotto down the right.
France seemed out of ideas until, deep into added time, Fabien Barthez's long kick was flicked on by David Trezeguet for fellow substitute Sylvain Wiltord, who drove his finish across Francesco Toldo. Roger Lemerre's men then completed the turnaround in the 103rd minute, Robert Pirès bursting to the byline and cutting back for Trezeguet to volley emphatically into the roof of the net.
If Italy's first two finals were close fought, this was anything but. Cesare Prandelli's side were quite simply overrun by an era-defining Spain outfit in Kyiv. The Azzurri were up against it from the moment Cesc Fàbregas's cross was glanced in by David Silva on 14 minutes, with their hopes deteriorating rapidly once Giorgio Chiellini succumbed to a thigh injury soon after.
Jordi Alba swept in the second from Xavi Hernández's through ball before the break and Vicente del Bosque's men ruled the roost thereafter. Late strikes from Fernando Torres and Juan Mata gave the final scoreline an unflattering look and left Italy still searching for a first European crown since that initial success in 1968.
World Cup finals
The Azzurri have also appeared in six deciders at the FIFA World Cup, emerging triumphant on four occasions.
1934: Italy 2-1aet Czechoslovakia
1938: Italy 4-2 Hungary
1970: Brazil 4-1 Italy
1982: Italy 3-1 West Germany
1994: Brazil 0-0aet Italy (pens: 3-2)
2006: Italy 1-1aet France (pens 5-3)