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Soccer World Cup

Italy’s 5 Most Positive Head to Head Balances Against Other Countries

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Italy's Five Most Positive Balances

Italy
Picture provided by the FIGC official Facebook page

Ever since its birth, the Italian national team has always been recognized as an authentic enemy to many countries around the world. Successful as it is, in fact, the Nazionale's history is fully characterized by having uncountable rivalries, from which, quite frankly, it is usually superior.

The biggest, of course, involves other giant nations of the soccer world, such as France, Brazil, Germany, Argentina and even England. This last one, moreover, has returned to be of actuality, considering both the clash of the 2012 European Championship and the one that will take place in the upcoming World Cup.

With Argentina, instead, the rivalry reached its peak during the 70s and 80s, given that the Azzurri faced the South American side in every single edition of the World Cup since 1974 to 1990. Among these clashes, Argentina was never able to actually beat Azzurri, but only manage to eliminate them in some with ties. As a whole, there has been a total of 16 matches between them, divided into six Italian victories, five Argentine wins and three draws.

On the other hand, with the other South American giants of Brazil, the Nazionale hasn't had the same fortune. As a matter of fact, it is with them that Italy has the worst head to head balance in history: only five victories and three ties out of the 16 matches ever disputed. Furthermore, the last victory was in the far yet memorable night of 1982, in which three goals of Paolo Rossi kicked the Brazilians out of the World Cup and sent Italy on the road for the final triumph.

On the contrary, the history with Germany a whole different story. More than an actual rivalry, in fact, it represents an authentic fairy tale of supremacy, which has never seen the Teutons beating the Italians in an official game. Especially thanks to the glorious wins of the 1970, 1982 and 2006 World Cups, in addition to the one of the 2012 European Championship, Germany is the sixth nation with which Italy has the best balance in history.

In the next slides, you can find the top five.

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Spain

Spain
Picture provided by Roberto Baggio's official Twitter page

The rivalry against Spain has significantly increased in the last years, considering its world dominance of the last years. However, despite the heavy 4-0 loss in the Euro 2012 final, Italy still leads personal balance out of the 32 matches ever played against the Spanish side: 10 victories and 13 draws.

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Hungary

Hungary
Picture provided by the FIGC official website

Despite never having won a World Cup, Hungary represented for many years one of the world's strongest teams. It has faced Italy a total of 34 times, but only managed to achieve nine wins and ties. The other 16 finished with an Italian victory, including the 1938 World Cup final.

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France

France
Picture provided by Marco Materazzi's official Twitter page

Both for geographical and historical reasons, France really does represent the biggest rivalry Italians could ever feel. However, despite some relevant victories, such as the ones of 1986, 1998 and 2000, the French do not really have many arguments on their favor against Italy, statistically speaking.

As a matter of fact, out of the 37 games ever disputed, the Blues only managed to win nine times and to draw 10. Italy, instead, won the other 18, including the 2006 World Cup final.

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Austria

Austria
Picture provided by Christian Vieri's official Twitter page

With Austria, the sense of rivalry is not particularly relevant. However, the Azzurri have been able to develop a great dominance over their neighbors. In 37 matches, Italy has won 17, tied eight and lost 12. The last official encounter was the 2-1 victory during the 1998 World Cup, with goals by Christian Vieri and Roberto Baggio.

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Switzerland

Switzerland
Picture provided by the FIGC official Facebook page

Just like with Austria, there is no particular sense of rivalry against this neighbor country. Nonetheless, Switzerland has the "honor" of being the nation that has lost the most against Italy: 28 in 58 games. In the other 30, the Swiss only won in eight occasions, tying 22.

Despite these numbers and the lack of titles, however, Switzerland was chosen over Italy to be one of the top seeds for the recent drawings of the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.