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l’architetto to Grosso

A 3-time World Cup winner on this day, Italy was (and is) among the elite football playing nations in the world. In 2006, the host nation was another of the elite, Germany, which stood between Italy and the finals.

Italy dominated possession during the semi-final match, but it was still a scoreless tie going into the second extra time period. In the 119th minute, Italy set up for a corner kick from the right side. The ball was launched into the air, and Italy gained possession in the middle of the box, at the feet of l’architetto, Andrea Pirlo. He dribbled across the top of the box, and as three defenders converged on him, poked it through to Fabio Grosso who was unmarked because his defender had left him to help contain Pirlo. From just inside the box on the right side, Grosso curled a brilliant shot beautifully with his left foot that flew over the keeper and into the the back left corner of the net. After scoring another goal only a minute later, Italy defeated Germany,  advanced to the Cup finals against France (which they won), and became a 4-time champion. Playmaker: Tommy S.