European Championship Classics – Italy, 1968

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Italy-1970-shirt-maglia-Copa-Mondiale-01This is the first instalment in this series to feature a competition winner – see here for the previous entries.

While there wasn’t much in the way of design, this is an iconic kit, the same as would be seen when Italy reached the World Cup final two years later.

One change from the years previous was that the short-sleeved shirts – which had had v-necks – now had the same crew necks as the long-sleeved versions.

Italy-1970-shirt-maglia-portiere-Copa-Mondiale-Albertosi-01

The goalkeeper kit was another classic look, with grey shirt, black shorts and the same blue socks as the outfielders.

This was a look that Italian custodians would retain until the early 1990s, but stricter rules nowadays mean that it is unlikely to be seen again.

Italy were the hosts for the finals tournament, reaching the decider having got past the USSR in the semi-finals thanks to a coin toss, the game finishing scoreless after extra time.

FacchettiThe game features in David Squires’ book The Illustrated History of Football: Hall of Fame, in a strip focusing on legendary Italian defender Giacinto Facchetti (right).

What caught our eye was the number 10 on Facchetti’s back – he was a left-back and later a sweeper and, while Italy were most renowned for the ‘block’ numbering style which gave odd numbers to defenders, 10 was a bit too high.

The fairly simple explanation is that Italy numbered the whole squad alphabetically – like Argentina and Netherlands among others – but it might not have been immediately apparent as the goalkeepers were Enrico Albertosi, Lido Vieri and Dino Zoff, numbers 1, 21 and 22 respectively.

Italy met Yugoslavia in the final, the game finishing 1-1 after after extra time, necessitating a replay two days later, goals from Luigi Riva and Pietro Anastasi (a striker wearing number 2) giving them a 2-0 triumph.

 

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