Former Italy and Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has announced his retirement.
Italy have won four FIFA World Cup titles, putting them joint-second with Germany and behind five-time winners Brazil in the worldwide standings.
Italy are known for a football philosophy which revolves around a rock-solid defence. This solidity was key to their 2006 FIFA World Cup victory and the European Championship win in 2020 - their most recent major tournament triumph.
Governed by the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC), Italy have been one of the most consistently successful teams in world football history.
Italy are currently managed by Luciano Spalletti.
Early history of the Azzurri
Italy beat France 6-2 in their first ever football match in 1910 having only been founded in the same year. The game was held at the Arena Civica in Milan in front of approximately 4,000 spectators, playing in a white home kit for one of only two times before switching to the famous royal blue jerseys.
Long before the days of the Italian 'Catenaccio' ('door-bolt', a defence-based philosophy), the side lined up in the 2-3-5 formation of the day that worked to great success in the romp over their neighbours. Italian fans reportedly threw cigarette packets at their team after the game, such was the impression left on the faithful in their first contest.
Their first significant success as a nation arrived when they picked up a bronze medal in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. They had only lost twice in the previous three years, but fell to Uruguay in the semi-finals, but beat Egypt in the third-place play-off by a stunning scoreline of 11-3 to secure their first piece of silverware.
Their run to third-place included wins over fellow European nations France and Spain, the latter having to be settled by a rematch after an initial 1-1 draw (Italy won 7-1 in the rematch).
Ever the innovators, the Azzurri also came first in the now defunct Central European International Cup in its first edition between 1927-30.
Back to back World Cups and Olympic Gold
Despite lodging to host the tournament before the 1928 Olympics, the Azzurri declined to participate in the inaugural World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay. They were not alone in their thinking, with other European nations like Holland and Spain declining their invite on the basis of their players' concerns that they would come home from to no jobs in the era of the Great Depression.
Italy did, however, make up for lost time by going on to win the next two tournaments in 1934 and 1938, led by the trail-blazing Vittorio Pozzo as the coach and star player Giuseppe Meazza, coined as 'Il Genio' ('The Genius') by the press.
The Azzurri's first European Championship and World Cup final
Evidently, Italy learned their lesson from their 1966 humiliation, because in 1968, they became European champions for the first time after beating Yugoslavia in Rome for their first piece of silverware for 30 years.
Nonetheless, luck was on the side of the Italians after their 0-0 draw against the Soviet Union in the semi-finals was fatefully decided by a coin toss. The initial final match was a 1-1 draw after extra time, with Italy winning the replay 2-0 thanks to goals from Luigi Riva and Pietro Anastasi.
At the tournament, Italy beat eventual champions Argentina, but a 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands meant they had to settle for a place in the third-place playoff. Goalkeeper Dino Zoff's error in the match against Holland proved costly as he was beaten from long range by Arie Haan.
Italy hosted the European Championships for the second time in 1980, but had to settle for fourth place after Fulvio Collovati missed the final penalty in a scintillating third-place playoff game to Czechoslovakia, finishing 9-8 on penalties.
The 1982 World Cup came off the back of a Serie A match-fixing and betting scandal, known as the Totonero scandal of 1980, which saw players such as Paolo Rossi prosecuted and suspended for two years for match fixing.
In their second round group, Italy beat Argentina 2-1 before Paolo Rossi inspired a 3-2 win over Brazil, which sent them through to the semi-finals, where they beat Poland thanks to another Rossi intervention, this time in the form of a brace.
Under new coach Azeglio Vicini, new players such as Paolo Maldini, Ciro Ferrara and Gianluca Vialli were given a chance to impress. In 1988, Italy were beaten at the semi-final stage of the European Championships to a resolute Soviet Union in a 2-0 loss.
Harder times in the 1990s
Despite the worldwide acclaim of its domestic league in the decade, the national team seldom matched the glory of Serie A.
In 2000, Italy made the final of the European Championships by beating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout. However, a golden goal from David Trezeguet saw them lose the final to France.
The 2006 World Cup
New manager Marcello Lippi wrote his name into the World Cup history books by leading this squad to victory despite off-field turmoil.
Italy's run to glory was impressive, conceding once in six games preceding the meeting with France, a storied rivalry in international competition. Along with Les Bleus overcoming Italy six years previous in the European Championship final, the rivals had met four times in previous World Cups (each side winning twice previous to 2006).
Flop and recovery in 2010s
Italy were eliminated from the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 by eventual champions Spain and suffered a horrific group stage exit at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The Azzurri were eliminated from the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 in France by then-world champions Germany.
Roberto Mancini took over as Italy's manager in 2018 and won 18 of his first 27 matches in charge, including an unprecedented 10-match win streak in their 2020 European Championship qualifiers.
Euro 2020 success
Missing the World Cup again
It marked the second successive World Cup Italy failed to reach after their play-off defeat four years ago to Sweden.
Italy's biggest rivals
Italy boasts a plethora of rivalries with different nations. Their matchup with Brazil is known as 'Clasico Mundial' or the 'World Derby', being two of the most successful nations internationally who share nine World Cups and 10 continental titles between them. The sides have met twice in the World Cup final, in 1970 and 1994, with the Selecao coming out the better on both occasions.
Diego Maradona infamously tried to exploit this when he encouraged the people of Naples to cheer on Argentina in the 1990 World Cup semi-final rather than Italy. Maradona was a player at the southern club Napoli at the time.