Image details: MARCO VAN BASTEN served by picapp.com
The Oranje and The Azzurri meet each other later today in Bern, Switzerland as The Group of Death begins its first games. France face Romania in the preliminary game at Zurich.
The last time that The Netherlands defeated the Azzurri was at World Cup 1978 in Argentina.But today's game between Italy and Holland will have personal significance. Both coaches, Mr. Donadoni and Mr. Van Basten, were teammates on the great AC Milan sides of the mid 1980s, and remain friends to this day. Roberto Donadoni made the following comment:
The last time that Italy defeated France was at the same World Cup in 1978. (The 2006 World Cup final, officially, is listed as a draw with Italy winning on penalty kicks).
Romania has not ever beaten France in a competitive game, and their last win in a friendly occurred in 1972.
Source: Football Italia, 09 June 2008.
“I have a friendship with Marco that stretches back many years. We have not had the chance to see each other recently, as we took different paths, but the respect remains. There are figures, like Arrigo Sacchi, who connect us and we all share some of those concepts we learned at the time.”