Somewhat out of date maybe but I came across this thread. Italy in 2006 weren't boring. Okay, they weren't Spain either, but they had the following: Two impressive and overlapping fullbacks in Zambrotta and Grosso Pirlo pulling the strings with his impressive passing ability Totti and all the skill he had Cameronaise and Perrota who are wingers And Toni up front. So out of 10 outfield players that is 5 or 6 who are naturally attacking. And if they got into trouble they could bring a fine striker like Inzaghi and a great one like Del Piero off the bench. I think it is because they do not bomb forward from the start, like in say the EPL. And old stereotypes like with Germany actually, always called functional even though they have been pretty forward thinking in 2006 and 2008.