Originally Posted by davesmith
Total shock! No-one expected that. Germany were thoroughly outplayed.
Except for those who know how Italian's develop their players and how they view games against Germany. Italians respect German football to such an extent that there is no greater acheivement than getting a result against them.
More so than even doing well against Brazil or whomever happens to be hot at the moment (today that is Spain, it was France a few years back, Argentina before that - only Brazil, Germany and Italy are consistently at or near the top on a consistent basis).
Secondly, the attribute of being able to defend which is routinely criticized is rooted in a never say die work ethic and team spirit. That spirit is what comes out in spades especially against the Germans.
Italian players at a young age are also technically trained with respect to ball skill much more so than many nations (the Dutch are even better at this - but for some reason lack the spirit, especially team spirit which must frustrate their supporters to no end) so you get very skilled players overall.
Now obviously this doesn't mean Italian teams are always great but no nation ever is. What it means is you can never, ever dismiss Italy as a potential champion of any tournament and their success backs that up. Yet, people routinely do just that.