Italy’s preparation for the 1990 World Cup


Italy were automatically qualified to the 1990 World Cup as host nation. See Italy’s international friendlies in the period 1988–1989.


Italy were facing a rather quiet programme, with only three friendlies being scheduled during winter and spring 1990. On the other hand, the team would have a longer camp before the tournament, thanks to the domestic season ending in late April. It appears that the Italian FA had decided for this early sesong ending in order to allow the team to have their training camp in May – but the result was a congested season that didn’t allow for more than three international friendlies in the period.

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 Ferrara in for Ferri, no Baggio anywhere to be seen, and Carnevale had been replaced by Serena in the striker’s position.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.

Netherlands 0-0 Italy
21.02.1990, Rotterdam
Italy (4-4-2): Zenga – Ferrara, Bergomi (c), Vierchowod, Maldini – De Napoli, Ancelotti, Giannini (De Agostini 68′), Marocchi – Carnevale (Serena 82′), Baggio (Mancini 72′).

Switzerland 0-1 Italy
31.03.1990, Basel
Italy (4-4-2): Zenga – Bergomi (c) (Ferrara 58′), Baresi, Vierchowod, Maldini (De Agostini HT) – De Napoli, Marocchi, Giannini, Donadoni – Carnevale (Serena HT), Schillaci.

Vicini’s squad selection

Italy’s squad of 22 players was anncouned Monday 30 April 1990. There were no big surprises in Azeglio Vicini’s squad, as he maintained the players he had trusted so far since the 1988 Euros.

The friendlies played between autumn 1988 and spring 1990 had seen a relatively low overturn of players. Vicini had quickly established a trusted group of players, allowing only for a limited degree of experimentation in his line-ups. W

Still, there were discussions about who among the fringe players that should take the last places in the final squad. Luca Fusi…

Training camp in Coverciano

The Italian team had a long training camp from 6 May to 3 June 1990 in Coverciano, outside of Firenze. However, much of the camp took place in the absence of players from Fiorentina, Juventus, AC Milan and Sampdoria, as these clubs were through to the final stages of the European Cups. The entire team didn’t come together until 25 May, when the European club competitions had ended.

Two friendlies were also played in these weeks leading up to the tournament. The first was an unofficial friendly against Greece, the second a friendly against Cannes:

Italy 0-0 Greece
30.05.1990, Perugia
Italy (4-4-2): Zenga (Tacconi HT) – Bergomi, De Agostini, Vierchowod, Ferri – Marocchi, Donadoni, De Napoli, Giannini – Vialli, Schillaci (Baggio 70′).

Italy 3-0 Cannes
02.06.1990, Arezzo
Italy (4-4-2): Zenga – Bergomi, Maldini, Baresi, Ferri – Ancelotti, Donadoni, De Napoli, Giannini – Vialli (Schillaci 72′), Carnevale.
Goals: Vialli 38′ (pen), De Napoli 40′, Vialli 72′.

World Cup