Sunday 11th July 1982
FINAL, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid. (20:00)
ITALY (0) 3 (Rossi 57, Tardelli 69, Altobelli 81)
WEST GERMANY (0) 1 (Breitner 83)
Italy: Zoff; Gentile, Scirea, Bergomi, Collovati, Cabrini; Conti, Tardelli, Oriali; Rossi, Graziani (Altobelli)(Causio)
West Germany: Schumacher; Kaltz, K-H. Forster, B. Forster, Stielike, Briegel; Littbarski, Breitner, Dremmler (Hrubesch); Fischer, Rummenigge (Muller)
You had to go back twenty years to find the last time at least one of these nations had not finished in the last four, although this was Italy’s first Final appearance since they lifted the trophy in 1938. For West Germany this was their 2nd Final appearance in the last three. Italy had been a surprise entrant as they weren’t expected to get past Brazil, but were now bang in form. The Germans won a controversial Semi-Final against the French and had been efficient rather than inspirational.
The Germans had the better of the early stages but then Italy earned a penalty as Conti was held back by Briegel in the area. Cabrini stepped up and scuffed his shot wide of the post. The rest of the half produced few clear cut chances, but several shots from long-range from both sides. Goalless at half-time, Italy finally broke the deadlock just before the hour as a cross from the right from Gentile bounced awkwardly and Paolo Rossi headed the ball in from 5 yards for his 6th goal of the tournament, all in his last 3 matches.
Tardelli’s celebration has gone down in history as a perfect example of what it meant to score a goal in a World Cup Final. The Italians then made certain when substitute Altobelli scored after a counter-attack lead by Conti, when he received the ball on the penalty spot and flicked it wide of Schumacher before converting.
Paul Breitner then gave the Germans a consolation and had the distinction of scoring in two World Cup Finals having scored a penalty in 1974. In the end Italy were worthy winners and had equalled Brazil’s record of winning the World Cup three times in their history. This was remarkable when you consider they were simply awful during the opening Group Phase, yet came good when it mattered, beating Argentina, Brazil, Poland and West Germany.