Italy have rarely gone into a World Cup as clear favourites. They may not always thrill -- in fact sometimes they struggle to even entertain -- but they are a formidable winning machine, ruthless in their endeavours and accustomed to unprecedented glory.
No European side has managed to lift the coveted trophy as many times as the Azzurri (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), and few countries boast the kind of players who feel it’s their patriotic duty to try to guide their countrymen to glory. These tournaments may be about the joy of the game for the fans, but for Italy’s players it’s an opportunity to represent their country -- a matter of pride and honour, and for that they will do all it takes.
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