Italy's greatest midfielders
We take a look at Italy's outstanding playmakers down the years.
Last Updated: 31/05/10 9:14am
Antognoni was an attack-minded midfielder who helped his nation claim glory at the 1982 World Cup. He made his bow on the world stage in 1978 as his country finished fourth. Then four years later Antognoni shone as the Azzurri were triumphant in Spain, although he missed the final due to injury.
Dino Baggio landed 60 caps for Italy. The midfielder featured at two World Cup finals, his first appearances coming at the 1994 competition. He scored two World Cup goals, firing home against Norway in the group stage of the aforementioned tournament while his other strike helped the Italians beat Spain in the quarter-finals.
The brilliant Roberto Baggio is an unquestionable Italian legend. Winner of both the Ballon D'Or and the Fifa World Player of the Year, Baggio impressively scored at three separate World Cups. Indeed, the attacking midfielder managed a superb return of nine goals from 13 matches - although his missed penalty in 1994 final against Brazil proved a heartbreaking moment for the player.
Skilful midfielder Berti was a key member of the Italian sides which took part in the 1990 and 1994 World Cup finals. Indeed, in the latter, Berti helped propel his side to the final against Brazil, only for his team to lose on spot-kicks.
Colaussi operated as forward-thinking midfielder, supporting Italy's attack during their triumphant World Cup campaign in 1938. The winger played in three matches scoring four goals, including a brace in the 4-2 win over Hungary in the final.
Conti is considered one of the best wingers of his generation, boasting sublime pace and dribbling ability that bamboozled defenders. He was a key performer for the Azzurri during their successful 1982 World Cup campaign. He also grabbed himself a World Cup goal versus Peru in the group stages.
Alessandro Del Piero
Del Piero is arguably one of the greatest players to have graced the game. He operated as a second striker, hovering in the role between midfield and attack. He has played at three World Cup finals, scoring two goals and lifting the trophy in 2006.
Powerful midfielder Donadoni was renowned for his pace and superb technique who operated either centrally or out wide. He made 10 World Cup appearances, playing a vital role for his team at the 1994 World Cup as Italy finished as runners-up.
Talented midfielder Ferrari helped his nation lift their first two World Cup trophies back in 1934 and 1938. He played in eight matches, scoring two goals. Those strikes came in his first two World Cup appearances against the USA and Spain.
Attacking midfielder Giannini played nearly 50 times for his nation, seven of which appearances came at the 1990 World Cup. He assisted his country in claiming third place as the Azzurri beat England while he scored against USA in the group phase.
Mazzola played 'inside right' for his nation and oozed supreme creativity. Furthermore, his technique was first class as he brought much joy to onlookers with his fine ball control. Mazzola played at three World Cups, scoring once and reaching the final in 1970.
The legendary Giuseppe Meazza played for his country on over 50 occasions and is regarded as one of the greatest ever footballers. The influential Italian helped his nation land their first two World Cups, scoring three times in nine appearances in 1934 and 1938.
Orsi, who also played for Argentina prior to switching to the Italian national side, was a fine performer at the Azzurri's first World Cup glory in 1934. He bagged three goals during his five appearances at said tournament including a strike in the final against the Czechs.
Diminutive midfielder Serantoni was part of Italy's World Cup winning side at the 1938 competition. He was a winner in all four of his appearances as the Azzurri beat Hungary in the final.
Tardelli operated as a first-class defensive midfielder for Italy. The battling player, who was famed for is tireless running, claimed World Cup glory in 1982 as the Azzurri saw off Germany. Overall, he featured on the world stage 13 times, scoring twice - one of those strike famously coming the final and followed by a marvellous celebration.
The superb Totti was a World Cup winner in 2006 as Italy beat France on penalties. After a disappointing 2002 tournament, Totti performed well four years later with his strike against Australia sending his nation into the quarter-finals.
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