Haircuts, concerts, birthplaces, resting places and a mad dash feature in our look at the statistics surrounding the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™. So, grab yourself a Cappuccino, Espresso or Latte and let FIFA.comdeliver you the intriguing numbers behind Italy’s conquering of the 18th FIFA World Cup.
fans is what Marcello Lippi’s players performed in front of during in the second full week of July – but it was not in Berlin and there were only two squad members present. Only two days after helping Italy overcome France in front of 69,000 at the Olympiastadion, Mick Jagger welcomed Alessandro Del Piero and Marco Materazzi on to the San Siro stage in Milan – to rapturous applause – to climax the first leg of the Rolling Stones’ European tour. As the Azzurri’s goals during the World Cup played on the big screen, Del Piero and Materazzi sung along to an adapted version of the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, which Italy had adopted as their anthem during Germany 2006.
years made Pietro Lombardi the oldest member of a coach’s backroom staff at Germany 2006. The veteran was Italy’s kitman, renowned for staying up late to clean every player’s boots, nicknamed Spazzolino (Toothbrush) because of how spotless he left them – and the gent who came to a reporter’s aid when the euphoric players drenched her in champagne after they lifted the Trophy! When he died in 2016, Daniele De Rossi attended the funeral and left his World Cup winner’s medal in Lombardi’s coffin.
metres is what Gianluigi Buffon uncharacteristically sprinted to celebrate Marco Materazzi’s opener against Czech Republic. The usually chilled goalkeeper spent just two seconds at the other end of the field – “I got caught up in the moment!” he later admitted – before hurrying back to his own penalty area. Buffon was not the only Italian to get a little over-excited: Fabio Cannavaro rewarded Materazzi with five slaps to the back of the neck.
is the number of tackles Gennaro Gattuso won at Germany 2006 – 11 more than his closest challenger, France’s Patrick Vieira. Italy also had the most-fouled player, though surprisingly it was burly forward Luca Toni (28).
international goals – joint-third on Italy’s all-time leading scorers’ list – is what Del Piero climbed on to against Germany. The 11th-hour effort left the player who once aspired to be a lorry driver level with Roberto Baggio and behind only Gigi Riva (35), Giuseppe Meazza (33) and Silvio Piola (30). It also saw Del Piero tie Enrico Chiesa’s record for most Italy goals by a substitute (5). Del Piero made another 13 appearances for his country after the World Cup, but failed to score.
matches without defeat is the run on which Italy finished Germany 2006. The unbeaten sequence – the second-longest in *Azzurri *history – ended in their next game against a Luka Modric-inspired Croatia in what was Roberto Donadoni’s first game in charge. Italy’s record undefeated run was the 30 outings Vittorio Pozzo’s side went between 1935 and ’39.
centimetres is the height difference Fabio Cannavaro somehow overcame to win an aerial duel against Per Mertesacker in stoppage time in the semi-final. The Neapolitan immediately raced from his own box and bravely headed the ball away from Lukas Podolski to initiate an Italian counter-attack. 12 seconds later, Del Piero had become the first player to score in the 121st minute of a World Cup match. The result left Germany having never beaten Italy in a competitive game after seven attempts.
of Italy’s 22 World Cup-winning players from 1982 were inside the Olympiastadion to see them reclaim the Trophy. Some were working in punditry positions, some were there as fans, and Ivano Bordon, who was on the bench as back-up to Dino Zoff in Madrid, was on the bench as Gli Azzurri’s goalkeeping coach in Berlin. The only missing member was Gaetano Scirea, who died in a car accident in Poland while scouting for Juventus in 1989.
yards from goal, around the penalty spot, is where the Italians gathered shortly after the Final to celebrate – but not because it was where Fabio Grosso had struck the title-clinching spot-kick. Massimo Oddo was a qualified barber who cut most of his team-mates’ hair during the tournament. Mauro Camoranesi would not let the right-back at his treasured locks, but promised that if Italy won it he would allow his ponytail to be chopped, which it was on the Olympiastadion turf – much to the delight of his colleagues!
men scored for Italy in Germany – a record for a World Cup they share with France’s class of ’82. Pirlo, Iaquinta, Gilardino, Materazzi, Inzaghi, Totti, Zambrotta, Toni, Grosso and Del Piero together got*Gli Azzurri’s *12 goals. Toni and Materazzi got two goals apiece – only one other triumphant team has had a leading scorer with fewer than four goals: France, for whom Thierry Henry netted thrice, in 1998. The World Cup-winning side with the least marksmen was Spain of 2010, for whom only David Villa, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol netted.
*oriundi *have won the World Cup with Italy, with Camoranesi becoming the last in 2006. Argentinians Attilio Demaria, Enrique Guaita, Luis Monti and Raimundo Orsi, as well as Brazilian Anfilogino Guarisi, were in the Nazionale squad that triumphed in 1934, while Uruguay-born Miguel Andreolo helped them retain their crown four years later. Camoranesi, born in the same Argentinian city as tennis players Juan Martin del Potro and Juan Monaco, qualified to play for Italy through his great-grandfather.
Ashton-under-Lyne-born World Cup winners are honoured in a striking sculpture in the Greater Manchester market town – and one did it with Italy! Along with statues of Jimmy Armfield and Geoff Hurst – members of England’s triumphant squad in 1966 – is one of Simone Perrotta. The midfielder’s parents emigrated from Calabria to Ashton-under-Lyne, where his father ran a wine lodge and a pub football team named Jolly Milan before they returned to the ‘toe’ of the Italian peninsula when Simone was six years old.
teams have won the World Cup as heavier outsiders than Italy in 2006 (at least since they start being monitored in 1970). *La Nazionale *had been eliminated from the previous edition by Korea Republic in the Round of 16, and had finished beneath Sweden and Denmark en route to a group-stage exit at UEFA EURO 2004. Furthermore, Lippi’s team had been grouped with Czech Republic, who sat second on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, Ghana and USA. Italy’s starting price was an average of 10/1 odds and as high as 16/1. Brazil were the favourites, followed by Argentina, Germany, England and the Netherlands.