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Football Italia literally translates to “Football Italy”.

It is used in connection with Calcio, which is the term that Italians use in to call football.

It may also refer to Football Italiano, which would mean “Italian Football”.

The birth of Italian Soccer "the Serie A "came through the ports when merchants brought the game to the shores of the peninsula. But the Italians added their own flavour to the game, and the country has a very distinct identity when concerning the way football is played.

The Italian national football team played its first match against France in 1910, and won the game by a margin of four goals after beating their opponents 6-2.

The prize received a great many packs of cigarettes that were showered on the players by around 4,000 fans.

The game began to gain popularity, and with good performances, the sport rose to become very popular throughout the country.

Italy declined to participate in the first World Cup held in 1930, but managed to win the next two editions of the dazzling tournament.

Italian football History

1934 and 1938 will always be special years in the peninsula, due to the brilliance of Giuseppe Meazza – in whose honour the home ground of Inter and Milan is named – under the guidance of coach Vittorio Pozzo, who has remained as the only coach in the history of football to win the World Cup twice.

This set the tone for great things to come, since football began to bloom in the country.

After the devastating war, the country found football to be an even bigger source of entertainment.

This reached a high point when the Azzurri went on to win the European Championship in 1968. To these triumphs, they added two more World Cup scalps; one in 1982, and most recently in 2006.

La Nazionale are presently the reigning World Champions and their manager Marcello Lippi will equal the great Pozzo, should he manage to lead the men from the peninsula to another glorious finish in the World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

At present, the Azzurri have qualified for the biggest event in world football, and they will travel to the African continent to do their flag proud. Despite being branded as a comparitively weaker team with respect to the strongest teams in the world, the men from the peninsula were consistent in getting results to progress directly to the 2010 World Cup.

World Cup 2010 Stadiums Almost Ready

The local organizing committee for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa has bared that the ten venues for the sports extravaganza is nearly complete. The construction of the stadiums experienced many challenges, such as strikes when over 70,000 workers asked for salary increases and a nationwide blackout in January 2008 which paralyzed the economy.

Rich Mkhondo, who is the spokesman of the local organizing committee said that five newly-built and five renovated stadiums were at 95 percent complete. The construction is already on its finishing stages, which includes installation of security barriers, tree planting, paving of roads leading to the stadium and parking lot.

At one time, the readiness of South Africa to host the quadrennial sports spectacle was put in doubt after the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, costing 2.1 billion rand ($289 million, 189 million Euros), in Port Elizabeth missed its construction deadline for the Confederations Cup, the curtain raiser for the World Cup.

One of the venues that underwent major renovation is Soccer City in Johannesburg. The stadium will be the site of the opening match on June 11 as well as the championship game on July 11. It has a seating capacity of 91,000 and resembles the shape of a calabash. All the stadiums have a sustainability program beyond 2010 and will be converted into multi-purpose centers after the event.

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