Italy’s preparation for Italia’90

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As host nation, Italy were automatically qualified for the 1990 World Cup. This section summarizes the years 1988, post European Championship, through to pre-tournament 1990 for Gli Azzurri.

Results and reports (***work in progress***)

Italy in the 1988 Olympic football tournament

Italy 2-1 Norway
19.10.1988, Stadio Adriatico (Pescara)
Goals: Giannini (pen.), Ferri
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c) (Ferrara h-t), Baresi, Ferri, Maldini - Donadoni (De Agostini 35), De Napoli, Giannini, Berti - Vialli, Mancini (Rizzitelli 77)

Italy 1-0 Netherlands
16.11.1988, Stadio Olimpico (Rome)
Goal: Vialli
Line-up (4-4-2): Tacconi - Bergomi (c), Baresi, Ferri, Maldini - Baggio, De Napoli, Giannini, De Agostini (Berti 81) - Vialli, Rizzitelli (Ferrara 52)

Italy 2-0 Scotland
22.12.1988, Stadio Renato Curi (Perugia)
Goals: Giannini (pen.), Berti
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga (Tacconi 50) - Bergomi (c) (Ferrara 50), Baresi, Ferri, Maldini - Berti, Giannini, Marocchi, Crippa - Vialli, Serena

Italy 1-0 Denmark
22.02.1989, Arena Garibaldi (Pisa)
Goal: Bergomi
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c), Baresi, Ferri (Ferrara h-t), Maldini - Donadoni (Crippa 67), De Napoli, Giannini, Berti - Vialli (Borgonovo 74), Serena

Austria 0-1 Italy
25.03.1989, Praterstadion (Vienna)
Goal: Berti
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c), Baresi, Ferri, Maldini (De Agostini h-t) - Donadoni, De Napoli, Giannini, Berti - Vialli, Serena (Borgonovo 21)

Romania 1-0 Italy
29.03.1989, Stadionul Municipal (Sibiu)
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c) (Marocchi 52), Baresi, Ferri (Maldini 39), Ferrara - Donadoni (Baggio 65), Giannini, De Napoli, Berti - Vialli, Borgonovo
Despite a double woodwork hit in the second half, Italy are somewhat short of creativity. Vicini tried out a couple of different formations (4-4-2/3-5-2), and will not have been too impressed with Borgonovo (?).

Italy 1-1 Uruguay
22.04.1989, Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi (Verona)
Goal: Baggio
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga (Tacconi h-t) - Bergomi (c), Baresi, Ferri, De Agostini - Giannini, Marocchi, Berti, Baggio - Vialli (Carnevale 41), Serena
It will have been a worry that Italy were struggling to unlock their opponents for a second successive match; for the goal they had to rely on Baggio's individual brilliance. And can they make it all the way in the World Cup without carrying a counter-attacking threat?

Italy 4-0 Hungary
26.04.1989, Stadio Erasmo Iacovone (Taranto)
Goals: Vialli, Ferri, Berti, Carnevale
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga - Ferrara, Baresi, Ferri, Maldini (Bergomi 78) - Donadoni, Giannini (Fusi 73), De Napoli, Berti - Vialli (c) (Serena h-t), Carnevale
The hosts carried way too much quality for a non-cohesive Hungarian unit, and Italy had some truly stand-out performers in midfielders Donadoni and Giannini, as well as striker Carnevale, who made his full debut and capped it with a goal. Italy did allow the visitors a couple of crossbar hits late on, but were simply too dominant and powerful for Hungary to cope with.

Italy 4-0 Bulgaria
20.09.1989, Stadio Dino Manuzzi (Cesena)
Goals: Baggio 2 (1 pen), Carnevale, Vialli
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c) (Ferrara 76), Baresi, Ferri, Maldini (De Agostini 61) - De Napoli, Marocchi (Crippa 68), Giannini, Baggio - Vialli, Carnevale
Italy survive early scare as Stoichkov strike inside of post, but come good and eventually win comfortably. Baggio truly standing out, having a hand in all of the four goals.

Italy 0-1 Brazil
14.10.1989, Stadio Renato Dall'Ara (Bologna)
Line-up (3-5-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c), Baresi, Ferri (Ferrara h-t) - De Napoli, Berti, Giannini (Fusi 60), Baggio, De Agostini - Vialli, Carnevale
Italy succumb to late wonder-strike from substitute André Cruz in full-blooded and prestigeous encounter.

Italy 1-0 Algeria
11.11.1989, Stadio Romeo Menti (Vicenza)
Goal: Serena
Line-up (4-4-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c) (Ferrara h-t), Baresi, Ferri, De Agostini - De Napoli (Donadoni 51), Giannini, Marocchi, Baggio - Vialli, Carnevale (Serena 71)
Italy dominant from start to finish, but El-Hadi makes some fine saves to keep Algeria in the game for 70 minutes.

England 0-0 Italy
15.11.1989, Wembley (London)
Line-up (3-5-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c), Baresi, Ferri - De Napoli, Donadoni, Giannini, Berti, Maldini - Vialli (Baggio 83), Carnevale (Serena 71)
Italy were played deep by determined and physical opponents, and though Carnevale was unlucky to have a good first half goal ruled out for offside, Vicini could by far be the happier of the two managers about the outcome. The 3-5-2 did not seem to bring the best out of Italy, who never managed a single effort on target.

Italy 0-0 Argentina
21.12.1989, Stadio Sant' Elia (Cagliari)
Line-up (3-5-2): Zenga (Tacconi h-t) - Bergomi (c), Baresi, Ferrara - De Napoli, Donadoni (Mancini h-t), Giannini, Berti, Maldini (De Agostini h-t) - Vialli (Fusi 69), Serena
Very hard-fought game in which few chances were created by either team. Ferrara in for Ferri, no Baggio anywhere to be seen, and Carnevale had been replaced by Serena in the striker's position. Teams nullified the threat from one another.

21.02.1990 Netherlands 0-0 Italy

31.03.1990 Switzerland 0-1 Italy

PlayerNor NedScoDenAutRomUruHunBulBraAlgEngArgAppsMins
Baggio, Roberto902590909090
Baresi, Franco9090909090909090909090
Bergomi, Giuseppe4590509090529012769045
Berti, Nicola90990909090909090
Borgonovo, Stefano166990
Carnevale, Andrea4990909071
Crippa, Massimo902322
De Agostini, Luigi55814590299090
De Napoli, Fernando909090909090909051
Donadoni, Roberto356790659039
Ferrara, Ciro453840459090144545
Ferri, Riccardo9090904590399090904590
Fusi, Luca1730
Giannini, Giuseppe9090909090909073906090
Maldini, Paolo9090909045517861
Mancini, Roberto77
Marocchi, Giancarlo9038906890
Rizzitelli, Ruggiero1352
Serena, Aldo909021904519
Tacconi, Stefano904045
Vialli, Gianluca9090907490904145909090
Zenga, Walter90509090904590909090