Italy’s preparation for Italia’90

About

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 (3-5-2): Zenga - Bergomi (c) (Ferrara h-t), Baresi, Ferri - De Napoli, Donadoni (De Agostini 36), Giannini, Berti, Maldini - Vialli, Mancini (Rizzitelli 77)
A familiar-looking Italy struggle to get going, and they need a penalty and a thunderbolt free-kick to secure a narrow win against plucky visitors. Three players from the Olympic semi-finalist team were brought on during the game.

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
Baggio9025909090907482
Baresi909090909090909090909090901170
Bergomi45905090905290127690459090910
Berti909909090909090909090909
Borgonovo166990175
Carnevale499090907171461
Crippa902322135
De Agostini5481459029909045524
De Napoli9090909090909090519090951
Donadoni3667906590399045522
Ferrara45384045909014454590542
Ferri909090459039909090459090939
Fusi17302168
Giannini909090909090907390609090901123
Maldini90909090455178619045730
Mancini7745122
Marocchi9038906890376
Rizzitelli135265
Serena9090219045191990464
Tacconi90404545220
Vialli909090749090414590909083691032
Zenga905090909045909090909045950