Meanwhile in Moscow: Die Mannschaft Never Die

They are indestructible. You can love them or hate them, but there’s no doubt that Germany are one step above any team when it comes to mental fortitude. For more than 20 minutes last night, the Germans were losing 0-1 to Sweden, and virtually out of the World Cup. Still, the full time score read 2-1 for Die Mannschaft, thanks to a late goal by Tony Kroos.

World Cup Meteors: Schillaci, Crownless King of Italia ’90

As World Cup 1990 approached, Italy’s coach Azeglio Vicini could lineup strikers such as Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Baggio. Still, he decided to add to his squad a little known Sicilian forward from Juventus. His name was Salvatore Schillaci, and he became the underdog King of the Notti Magiche (“Magic Nights”) of Italia ’90, scoring 6 goals and leading the Azzurri to the 3rd place.

World Cup Meteors: Grosso, the Last Minute Man

“You will take the last penalty, because you have always been decisive so far.” This is what coach Marcello Lippi told Fabio Grosso before the penalty shootouts that determined the outcome of World Cup 2006 Final between Italy and France. Lippi’s choice to bet on a player who was not even part of his original starting lineup proved to be a winning one.