Updates and news

The aim of this website is to collect all knowledge and analyse every aspect of Italia'90. The site is a work in progress, with also published material being continuously revised. We will only begin publishing match reports from the 1990 World Cup tournament when all qualifiers have been covered. We are currently (August 2018) focusing on the UEFA group 3 qualifiers, which will remain our priority for a while yet. To receive updates on twitter, follow (kaltz) and (domizio).


NEW: Soviet Union 1-1 Iceland

Vladimir Bessonov: back in the USSR side

31 May 1989, Moscow: No one had been expecting Iceland to arrive in the Soviet Union in order to go out and play an attack-minded, open kind of football. Indeed, the opening exchanges would explain what they would be all about: A tight-knit defensive unit with banks of five and three across defence and midfield respectively, and then two willing runners up front to try and put pressure on the defenders and defensive midfielders when the hosts wanted to instigate from the back. Iceland had some big, robust players who were more than ready for physical battle, and some of their players were equipped with a high level of controlled aggression. This suited very well their organised style of play, and although their earlier matches in the qualification group hardly had won them a lot of neutral admirers, it had won them two points from three matches. Read more...

RECENT: East Germany 1-1 Austria

Weißflog and Polster

20 May 1989, Leipzig: Needless to say, Zapf had fielded a makeshift midfield in the USSR, where Karl-Marx-Stadt's Sven Köhler had made his second international appearance as the more defensive of the two in the centre. Ahead of him had been 21 year old Matthias Sammer, whose reputation was growing by the week. He'd been among their better performers in Kiev. Köhler had not been selected this time around, even if there was no Hans-Uwe Pilz due to injury. Should Zapf again opt for a four man midfield, Rot-Weiß Erfurt's 25 year old Uwe Weidemann could perhaps be stepping into Köhler's shoes. Weidemann had won two caps more than four years earlier, and had earned his place due to performing well at club level over time. Read more . . .

Previously: Czechoslovakia v Switzerland (1989 qualifier)

Previously: Wales v Netherlands (1989 qualifier)

From the news archives

One of the last qualifiers covered at italia1990.com is Iceland v Soviet Union (31 August 1988) from UEFA Group 3, provided by our writer kaltz. In addition, we give you the front page of the Icelandic newspaper Tíminn on 1 September 1988: Its headline was not so much the result of the game, as the naked person who entered the field. This is allegedly the first time this phenomenon was witnessed on a sporting venue on the island. Insular innocence stolen.

(Thanks to @WC1930blogger for notifying us.)

From the archives

Group 7 Quiz

Who was Belgium's regular libero in the 1990 qualifiers? And who's the player in the middle in the picture to the right? Test your UEFA qualification group 7 knowledge with our new group 7 quiz. Difficulty level: Difficult . . .

Read more . . .


Italia1990.com is a website dedicated to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. With the aim to collect all knowledge and analyse every aspect of Italia'90, this website will for a considerable time be a work in progress. The website publishes everything worth to know not only about the World Cup tournament itself, but also its build-up, including the qualification stage. While match info and statistics are important, this website will also stress match reports, anecdotes and analyses. Two writers are currently engaged in the project, kaltz (@1990qual) and domizio (@1990worldcup).

This website, italia1990.com, is non-commercial and unofficial, and not affiliated to FIFA. Header image: The sky above Stadio Olimpico, and the area around the stadium (1989).



This website is open to improvements and corrections. We seek all knowledge available on the 1990 World Cup (incl. the qualification) and are interested in all possible stories and perspectives. Please get in touch if there is anything you would like to notify us about.