Featured Matches
Previous
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
Sheriff Tiraspol
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Debrecen
BATE Borisov
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Wealdstone
Wycombe Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Frickley Athletic
Scunthorpe XI
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exeter City
Swansea City
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Rotherham United
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Derby County
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Mansfield Town
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Coventry City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Birmingham City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
AFC Bournemouth
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Stevenage
Reading
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Altrincham
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Milton Keynes Dons
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Concord Rangers
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dumbarton
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Hyde
Burnley XI
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Shrewsbury Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Luton Town
Colchester United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Margate
Barnet
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Burnley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield United
Huddersfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Southend United
Ipswich Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valerenga
Stabaek
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Nacional
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Náutico
Icasa
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Alianza Lima
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
Jul 5, 2006

Italy's press head over heels in love with Azzurri

ROME, July 5 (Reuters) - Italy's sports press hailed its players as heroes after they beat Germany 2-0 to reach the World Cup final but the good news from Berlin had to share the front pages with stories of the soccer scandal sweeping the country.

'We love you,' ran the headline on the front of Corriere dello Sport, before predicting the performance would 'pass into legend'.

Having recalled Italy's famous 4-3 win over Germany in the semi-finals of the 1970 World Cup, the paper said: 'This time we did even more.

'We knocked them out in their own backyard, with 60,000 fans shouting for them, with Ballack provoking us, in a stadium where Germany had never lost before.'

Tuttosport called the team 'giants', its front page dominated by a picture of defender Fabio Grosso and striker Alessandro Del Piero, the two players whose extra time goals gave Italy a last-gasp victory.

'Two great goals and Italy is in the final,' read the headline in Corriere della Sera.

'Italy is stronger than everyone else. We're in,' said Rome's Messaggero, which, like most newspapers, ran pictures of Italy players crying with joy at the end of the match.

'Fantastic last minute - Italy flies,' said L'Unita, the newspaper of the Democrats of the Left, the newspaper of the largest party in governing coalition.

La Stampa of Turin said the team deserved to win.

'They gave it their all. So, in the end, they got it all - the final, the glory, the applause of the world,' the paper said.

CENTRAL FIGURE

The central figure in the team's success, however, argued the paper, was coach Marcello Lippi.

'It was Lippi's victory, because he got his tactics right,' it said, singling out his decision to send on Del Piero and Iaquinta as substitutes to give Italy an attacking formation included four strikers.

Italy's victory provided a happy ending to a day that had been overshadowed by events at the match-fixing trial in Rome's Olympic Stadium.

Nearly every national newspaper ran banner headlines on the Berlin victory, but just under them were sombre stories about the trial.

'Historic Italy - We are in the final,' ran the headline in Rome's La Repubblica newspaper.

Just below it was another one which spoke of the 'sting' of the soccer scandal.

In the morning, Italian Football Federation prosecutor Stefano Palazzi requested that champions Juventus should be sent down to Italy's third division, and that AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio all be relegated to Serie B.

The joy of reaching the World Cup final was 'stronger than the scandal' said La Gazzetta dello Sport.

'As always, Italy beats Germany and this new, merited 2-0 win seized in extra time, is a double boost,' continued the paper.

'It sends us through to the final in Berlin, and closes in a mood of euphoria a day which started with the request for relegations.'

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.