Former Italy boss Azeglio Vicini – who celebrates his 80th birthday today – has fond memories of World Cup 1990 despite the Azzurri’s failure to win the trophy.
Italy were one of the favourites to lift the Cup given that it was played in their own backyard, but they eventually finished third in a competition won by West Germany.
“That period was obviously the most beautiful of my career,” the former Cesena and Udinese tactician told Sport Mediaset.
“Unfortunately we didn’t win, but those nights were unique. We played well, the fans were entertained, it was a spectacle on the pitch and in the stands.
“It’s not by chance that, 23 years later, Italy-Argentina is still the most watched game on Italian television and that makes me proud.”
Those two nations met in the semi-finals, a match played in Naples and which the South Americans won on penalties.
Salvatore Schillaci, Italia ’90 top scorer, gave his country the lead until Walter Zenga was finally beaten for the first time in the tournament.
“I remember everything with clarity,” Vicini added. “Claudio Caniggia’s goal and then the decisive penalties of Roberto Donadoni and Aldo Serena.
“Unfortunately it was destiny that it would end like that. You make history when you win…”
In 54 games in charge of the side, Vicini won 32, drew 15 and lost just seven. He was replaced by Arrigo Sacchi in 1991.