The Match of the Century. That’s how many labeled this 1970 World Cup confrontation between Italy and West-Germany. Why this game was seen as perhaps the best ever in football, can only be fully appreciated by watching the match yourself.
Italy came into this match with a slight advantage in fitness. In the quarter-finals they had sailed past the hosts Mexico (4-1), whereas the Germans had to play the full 120 minutes to beat England. But ultimately, football is about quality. And with Schnellinger, Beckenbauer, Seeler and Müller, Germany had absolute world class players in every line on the pitch. Italy had its own stars, particularly the midfield maestro’s Sandro Mazzola and Gianni Rivera. However, the Italian coach Ferruccio Valgareggi decided that since his tactical formation didn’t allow for two playmakers, he would give both players 45 minutes. Would this remarkable choice prove to be a stroke of genius, a fatal error, or ultimately irrelevant in this grand match?
Albertosi – Cera, Burgnich, Bertini, Rosato, Facchetti – Domenghini, Mazzola, De Sisti – Boninsegna, Riva
Coach: Ferruccio Valgareggi
Maier – Schnellinger, Vogts, Patzke (Held 66), Schulz – Beckenbauer, Overath, Seeler – Grabowski, Muller, Lohr
Coach: Helmut Schön