It sounds great to be a "Euro top-4". But these were times when only 8 teams participated - and this was their home Euro so they didn't have to qualify. They ware automatically "top-8'. This means you pass 2nd out of a group of 4 and you're "Euro semi-finalist". I was curious and had a look on how they managed to finish 4th. These were their matches: 0-0 against Spain 1-0 against England 0-0 against Belgium 1-1 against Czechoslovakia (then lost in PK) (of course all of them at home) Does it really look impressive? I've posted before their stats pre and post the four '82matches. You may agree they don't look good at all. You can search as much as you want, but you'll never find records that show that this was a great team. Outside from those 4 matches, of course. These 4 matches made them a great team. Perhaps they were indeed under-performing. But if this is the way we agree to see, they weren't under-performing in the group stage. They have been under-performing the whole time. Years before the Argentina match and years after the West Germany match. And frankly ... arguments like "meaningless match", "team finding its form", "aging team" etc for events that happened 40 years in the past is not something we could go into. At such a distance we can only rely on big numbers law or on a well done research on media from that time - what no one of us will have time to do right in the week a WC is up to start. My point is - and anyone can disagree - what stays in history for that italian team (and for many others) is similar to FIFA's Player of the Year. What the best guys did during the year do not play such a roll. Someone who won an important title will get it. We keep on seeing images of those guys scoring, raising the trophy, we keep on seeing the same images of 4 very good matches they played and disregard the performances of 6 whole years around those matches. But the images remain. And we believe we have it all. OMG ... did FIFA change the cards and put Chile and Italy back to Russia 2018? Why do we insist on talking about them?