• Italy have impressed at UEFA EURO 2020 with maximum points in the group stage and now travel to London to take on Austria, who have reached the knockout phase of the competition for the first time.
• While Italy recorded three victories and three clean sheets to claim first place in Group A, a Matchday 3 defeat of Ukraine gave Austria second place in Group C behind the Netherlands, the first time in their three EURO finals appearance they have progressed beyond the initial group stage.
• The winners of this game at Wembley will face Belgium or holders Portugal in the quarter-finals at the Football Arena Munich on 2 July.
• Austria have won 12 of their 36 previous games against Italy, although they have not beaten them since a 2-1 friendly win in Naples in December 1960; their subsequent record against the Azzurri is D3 L10.
• The sides’ most recent fixture, an August 2008 friendly in Nice, ended in a 2-2 draw. First-half goals from Austria’s Emanuel Pogatetz (14) and Marc Janko (39) were cancelled out by Alberto Gilardino (45+1) and a Ramazan Özcan own goal (67).
• This is only the sides’ third EURO meeting; holders Italy won 2-1 in Vienna before a 2-2 draw in Rome in the 1972 UEFA European Championship qualifying competition. Italy progressed from the group with runners-up Austria eliminated, but lost to Belgium in the two-legged quarter-finals.
• The teams have, however, met in four FIFA World Cups. Italy were 1-0 winners in the 1934 semi-finals en route to lifting the trophy, and also triumphed in the group stage in 1978, 1990 – both 1-0 – and, in the most recent competitive fixture between the countries, 2-1 at France ’98.
EURO facts: Italy
• This is Italy’s tenth EURO final tournament and their seventh in a row since sitting out the 1992 edition in Sweden. Only twice have they failed to advance through the group stage, in 1996 and 2004; they were quarter-finalists at UEFA EURO 2016.
• Italy triumphed on home soil at the 1968 UEFA European Championship and have been runners-up twice since – in 2000 and 2012.
• This time round, Roberto Mancini’s side won all ten of their qualifiers to finish first in Group J, swelling the number of countries to have reached the finals with a perfect record to eight, Belgium also having achieved the feat in the UEFA EURO 2020 preliminaries. Of the previous six to have won every qualifier, however, only Spain (2012) went on to lift the trophy, although both Italy and Belgium also recorded three group victories at this tournament.
• A 3-0 win away to Bosnia and Herzegovina in their penultimate qualifier was Italy’s tenth successive win in all internationals, the first time in their history they had achieved that feat.
• The Azzurri made it 11 straight victories with a 9-1 home win against Armenia in their final qualifying game, the first time they had scored nine goals in a game since August 1948. Seven different players were on the scoresheet, a new national record.
• Having never scored three goals in a EURO finals game before this tournament, Italy managed it in both their first two matches, beating Switzerland and Turkey 3-0 at the Olimpico in Rome, where they secured first place in Group A with a 1-0 defeat of Wales last time out.
• Italy beat Spain 2-0 in the round of 16 at UEFA EURO 2016, Giorgio Chiellini scoring the opening goal at the Stade de France. They subsequently lost 6-5 on penalties to Germany in the quarter-finals, Leonardo Bonucci scoring from the penalty spot in normal time to secure a 1-1 draw but missing in the shoot-out as Italy bowed out. Lorenzo Insigne converted Italy’s first spot kick.
• That made Italy’s record in knockout ties at the EURO final tournament W7 L6.
• Italy have won two of their six games at Wembley, all against England (D3 L1). Their last visit was a 1-1 friendly draw in March 2018 in which Insigne scored an 87th-minute penalty equaliser and Bonucci, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Jorginho, Ciro Immobile, Federico Chiesa and Andrea Belotti also featured. The Azzurri’s sole defeat at Wembley was a 2-0 loss in qualifying for the 1978 FIFA World Cup.
• Italy’s record in England overall is W7 D6 L11. At EURO ’96 they played their first two group games at Anfield in Liverpool, where they beat Russia 2-1 before losing to the Czech Republic by the same score, before then bowing out after a goalless draw against eventual champions Germany at Manchester’s Old Trafford.
• At the 1966 World Cup, the Azzurri opened with a 2-0 win against Chile at Sunderland’s Roker Park but were beaten 1-0 by the Soviet Union there in their second fixture and eliminated by a 1-0 defeat by North Korea at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough.
EURO facts: Austria
• This is Austria’s third EURO finals appearance, all in the last 13 years. Having appeared as co-hosts at UEFA EURO 2008 but failed to win in three games, they qualified for the tournament for the first time at UEFA EURO 2016 but again bowed out without recording a victory.
• Austria opened this tournament with their first win, defeating North Macedonia 3-1 in Bucharest and, after a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands in Amsterdam, reached the last 16 with a 1-0 win against Ukraine back at the National Arena Bucharest that enabled them to take the runners-up spot ahead of their opponents.
• Austria’s record in EURO final tournaments is now W2 D2 L5 F6 A10.
• At UEFA EURO 2016, Austria finished bottom of Group F, losing to Hungary (0-2) and Iceland (1-2) either side of a goalless draw against eventual champions Portugal.
• Austria’s greatest achievement is a third-place finish at the 1954 World Cup in neighbouring Switzerland. They last qualified for a World Cup in 1998, when the tournament was staged in France.
• The win against North Macedonia on Matchday 1 was Austria’s first at a major finals since a 2-1 defeat of the United States in the 1990 World Cup group stage.
• Franco Foda’s side booked their place at UEFA EURO 2020 as Group G runners-up behind Poland, winning six of their ten qualifiers (D1 L3). They lost their first two matches and, with their finals place already secured, the last, 1-0 in Latvia.
• Austria’s record at Wembley is W1 D1 L2 – their last visit a 7-0 friendly loss in September 1973. Their record in England overall is W1 D1 L6, with defeats on their last three visits – most recently against England at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium on 2 June this year (0-1). Their sole previous game in the country against a side other than England was a 3-0 defeat by Sweden at White Hart Lane in the first round of the 1948 Olympic Games.
Links and trivia
• Austria’s David Alaba scored for Bayern München against a Juventus side including Chiellini and Bonucci in the first leg of the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League quarter-final, the German side winning 2-0 in Munich to set up a 4-0 aggregate success.
• Alaba’s Bayern beat a Paris Saint-Germain side featuring substitute Marco Verratti in the 2020 UEFA Champions League final, winning 1-0 in Lisbon.
• Austria’s Valentino Lazaro joined Internazionale in summer 2019, playing six Serie A game that season before spells on loan at Newcastle and Borussia Mönchengladbach. His Inter team-mates included Nicolò Barella and Alessandro Bastoni.
• Marko Arnautović played three Serie A games for Inter in 2009/10, all as a substitute.
• Ciro Immobile scored in Lazio’s 4-2 first-leg win at home to Salzburg in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, and also found the net in the 4-1 second-leg reverse in Austria with Stefan Lainer scoring the crucial fourth goal for Salzburg. Xaver Schlager and Andreas Ulmer also played in both games for Salzburg.
• Insigne scored Napoli’s winner in a 3-2 group stage victory away to Ulmer’s Salzburg in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• A Louis Schaub goal earned Rapid Wien a 1-1 draw at home to Francesco Acerbi’s Sassuolo in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Alessandro Florenzi scored Roma’s final goal in a 3-3 draw at home to Austria Wien in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• The father of Austria coach Foda is from Venice.
• Austria’s current sporting director Peter Schöttel was in the side beaten 2-1 by Italy at the 1998 World Cup.
• Italy’s shoot-out record is W4 L7:
8-9 v Czechoslovakia, 1980 UEFA European Championship third-place play-off
3-4 v Argentina, 1990 FIFA World Cup semi-final
2-3 v Brazil, 1994 FIFA World Cup final
3-4 v France, 1998 FIFA World Cup quarter-final
3-1 v Netherlands, UEFA EURO 2000 semi-final
5-3 v France, 2006 FIFA World Cup final
2-4 v Spain, UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-final
4-2 v England, UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final
6-7 v Spain, 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final
3-2 v Uruguay, 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup third-place play-off
5-6 v Germany, UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-final
• Italy have been involved in shoot-outs at each of the last three EURO final tournaments.
• Austria have never been involved in a competitive penalty shoot-out.
• Italy have made it 11 successive wins – all with clean sheets – with their UEFA EURO 2020 victories against Turkey, Switzerland and Wales, having also defeated San Marino 7-0 in Cagliari and the Czech Republic 4-0 in Bologna in their two pre-tournament friendlies. Roberto Mancini’s side are now unbeaten in 30 internationals (W25 D5), equalling a national record set in the 1930s, since going down 1-0 to Portugal in Lisbon in the UEFA Nations League on 10 September 2018.
• Italy had never scored more than two goals in a EURO finals match before this tournament, but they managed three in both of their opening two games. The only other EURO in which they won all three group encounters was in 2000, when they also kicked off with a win against Turkey (2-1) before beating Belgium (2-0) and Sweden (2-1) and going on to finish as runners-up to France.
• Ciro Immobile, the top scorer in Italy’s squad, has found the net on each of his last four appearances for the Azzurri, taking his all-time tally to 15 goals in 48 internationals. He had never previously scored in more than two successive matches for his country.
• Manuel Locatelli’s double against Switzerland on Matchday 2 was the first of his professional career. He had only scored once previously for Italy, in a FIFA World Cup qualifier away to Bulgaria in March this year (2-0).
• Matteo Pessina, a late addition to Italy’s squad following the withdrawal of injured Stefano Sensi, scored the winner against Wales, having notched his first two international goals in the pre-tournament win against San Marino. Current Under-21 international Giacaomo Raspadori made his senior debut as a substitute against the Czech Republic.
• Gaetano Castrovilli, who won the second of his two caps against San Marino, 18 months after his debut, replaced the injured Lorenzo Pellegrini in the squad on the eve of the tournament.
• All but one of the 26 players in Mancini’s squad made it on to the field of play during the group stage, goalkeeper Alex Meret the exception.
• Among the seven Italy players selected for both UEFA EURO 2016 and this tournament are skipper Giorgio Chiellini, who is appearing in his fourth successive EURO finals, and Leonardo Bonucci and Salvatore Sirigu, who are both involved in their third. The other survivors from five years ago are Federico Bernardeschi, Alessandro Florenzi, Immobile and Matchday 1 goalscorer Lorenzo Insigne.
• Immobile and Insigne both scored their first major tournament goals on their fifth appearance in the win against Turkey. Locatelli has two tournament goals in as many outings.
• Chiellini made it 14 EURO finals appearances as he led Italy out against Switzerland, though he had to leave the field in the first half with a muscular injury. Only Gianluigi Buffon (17) has made more in the tournament for the Azzurri, though Bonucci matched Chiellini’s tally by captaining the team in his absence against Wales.
• Chiellini and Bonucci are the only members of the Italy squad to have scored at any previous major tournament, the former having found the net against both Brazil at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and Spain at UEFA EURO 2016, while the latter was the Azzurri’s scorer from the penalty spot in the 2016 quarter-final against Germany.
• Italy will host the final stages of the UEFA Nations League in the autumn. They take on Spain in the first of the semi-finals in Milan on 6 October.
• This is the first major tournament in which Austria have progressed beyond the initial group stage since the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, when they reached the second phase – as they had done four years earlier in Argentina.
• Austria’s win against North Macedonia on Matchday 1 was not only their first EURO finals victory but also the first time they had scored three goals in a major tournament encounter since a famous 3-2 victory over West Germany at that 1978 World Cup.
• Christoph Baumgartner’s winning goal against Ukraine was his first in tournament football and his fourth for Austria. The clean sheet in that game was only the second Franco Foda’s side have managed in their last ten matches.
• Despite the wins against North Macedonia and Ukraine, Austria have failed to score in four of their last six matches, including the Matchday 2 defeat in Amsterdam by the Netherlands. They warmed up for the tournament with a 1-0 defeat by England in Middlesbrough on 2 June and a 0-0 draw against Slovakia in Vienna four days later.
• Stefan Lainer became the first player in an Austria starting XI to score at the EURO finals with his opening volley against North Macedonia. Four of the country’s six goals at the tournament have been scored by substitutes, Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautović both subsequently finding the net on Matchday 1 after being introduced from the bench.
• Aleksandar Dragović, Austria’s only ever-present in the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers, became just the fourth Austrian international to reach 90 caps when he played against England earlier this month, Arnautović becoming the fifth with his appearance against Ukraine. Only one, Andreas Herzog, has gone on to complete the century.
• Dragović is one of eight members of Austria’s UEFA EURO 2020 squad who competed in France five years ago. The others are David Alaba, Arnautović, Julian Baumgartlinger, Martin Hinteregger, Stefan Ilsanker, Marcel Sabitzer and Alessandro Schöpf, who scored the team’s only goal at those finals, against Iceland.
• Arnautović holds the Austrian record for appearances in EURO matches, qualifiers included, of 31, and needs one more goal to match Toni Polster’s national high in the competition of 15.
• No fewer than 21 of the 26 players in Foda’s squad played for German Bundesliga clubs in 2020/21. The only one to win silverware was Alaba, who captured a ninth successive league title with Bayern München in his final season at the club before leaving for Real Madrid.
• One of the two home-based players in the squad, Andreas Ulmer, also enjoyed repeat domestic success by winning the Austrian Bundesliga title for the 11th time – and eighth in a row – with Salzburg, to which he added a third successive domestic cup triumph – and eighth in all.
• There was also club success elsewhere in 2020/21 for midfielder Louis Schaub, a Swiss Cup winner with Luzern, and goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann, who achieved promotion to the English Premier League with Watford. The latter made his debut for Austria in that pre-tournament friendly against England and kept his place throughout the group stage of UEFA EURO 2020.