Italy qualified for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil from first position in Group B, finishing undefeated the qualifying campaign. Squadra Azzurra has recorded six wins and four draws in ten games, racking up 22 points.
This is the fourth time in the last five World Championships qualifying campaign (France 1998, South Korea and Japan in 2002, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014) when the Italians qualify for the tournament unbeaten. There was one exception: Germany 2006, when Italy lost in qualifying with Slovenia (1-0). Ironically, then Italy won the World Cup.
Italians are beginning to see this as a sign that even in this edition will not achieve maximum at the final tournament. Quadruple world champion is seen among the favorites for the world title next year, along with Spain, Germany, Brazil and Argentina. This assumption comes even if for the first time since 1962, Italy is not seeded in the World Cup.
France 1998 – Italy finished in 2nd place in Group 2 of qualifying, with five wins and three draws from eight matches. At the tournament, was eliminated by France in the quarterfinals, 4-3 on penalty kicks.
South Korea and Japan in 2002 – Italy ended Group 8 with 6 wins and 2 draws. At the tournament, was eliminated by South Korea in the knockout round, in a controversial match with a goal annulled and a doubtful elimination of Totti.
Germany 2006 – Italy has qualified 1st place in Group 5 with 23 points after 10 matches. They won seven matches, drew two and lost one match, with Slovenia (1-0). In the final tournament, Italy won the fourth World Cup in history, after the final with France, 5-3 after shootout.
South Africa 2010 – Italy has qualified first in Group 8. In the final tournament, Italy has not surpassed the group phase, finishing in last place after Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand.
Brazil 2014 – Italy finished first 1 in Group B with six wins and four draws in ten games, with 22 points, six more than second class, Denmark.