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Azzurri: The Italian wonders  

Italy (nicknamed Gli Azzurri) is the second most successful footballing side in the world.

The team has won the FIFA World Cup four times (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006) and European Championship once (1968).

The team has produced some outstanding talent in the world.

Luigi Riva:

Luigi Riva was known as one of the most outstanding strikers of his time. He was nicknamed Rombo di Tuono (Roar of Thunder) when he was playing for his team.

Riva was known for his strikes with the left foot and was unbeaten when he used to sprint. He was also renowned for his free kicks.

He has scored 35 goals in 42 appearances for Italy.


Gianluigi Buffon:

Gianluigi Buffon has been representing Italy since 1997 and is the most capped player in the Italian national football time.

Buffon has been included in the UEFA Team of the Year three times (2003, 2004 and 2006). He was added in the FIFPro World XI two times (2006 and 2007).

The goalkeeper was named International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) Goalkeeper of the Year four times and was named the Goalkeeper of the 21st Century and the decade.

He will be playing his fifth FIFA World Cup this year.


Paolo Rossi:

Paolo Rossi was the workhorse of the Italian team when it won the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He was awarded the Golden Boot, Golden Ball and the Championship title.

He was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1982 and was included in the list of Top 125 greatest living footballers.

He has scored 20 goals in 48 appearances.


Andrea Pirlo:

Voted by Bloomberg as the fifth greatest Italian footballer, Andrea Pirlo is the fifth most capped player after representing his country in 108 games.

He represented Italy in Under-15, Under-18 and was the winning captain of Under-21 team when it won the European Championship in 2000.

Pirlo made it to the senior team of Italy in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and helped his country win the Bronze medal in 2004 Olympics. He was a part of the winning team in 2006 World Cup.

He was named man of the match three times in the 2006 World Cup, More than any player in the tournament.

The striker also represented Gli Azzurri in 2012 European Championship. He was named the Man of the Match three times in the championship as well. The record is shared by Spaniard Andres Iniesta.

He has played two Euros and two FIFA World Cups and two FIFA Confederations Cups as well.

He has scored 13 goals in 109 appearances for the team.




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