A 30th anniversary podcast celebrating all that was good (and bad) about possibly the most iconic World Cup finals tournament.
Episode 24 - Don't Cry For Me Maradona
We’ve reached the grand finale of both Vincerà! and the Italia ’90 story. The night before the World Cup final, Rome witnessed the operatic splendour of the first Three Tenors concert. On 8 July 1990, the city hosted a far less sophisticated spectacle as holders Argentina fought tooth and nail to retain their crown against the relentless West Germany. We look back at the match – which is remembered for all the wrong reasons – paying particular attention to the Argentine psychodrama and the dethroning of Diego Maradona as the world’s greatest footballer. And as we re-evaluate the tournament, we ask the questions: what are the legacies of Italia ’90 and why, 30 years on, does it still retain such fascination in spite of its well-documented flaws?HOST: Mark GodfreyGUESTS: Pete Davies (All Played Out/One Night in Turin), Simon Hart (World in Motion – The Inside Story of Italia ’90), Mike Gibbons (Nessun Dorma pod, The Guardian, When Football Came Home – England, the English and Euro 96)MUSIC: UV Protection
Episode 23 - No More Notti Magiche
There were medals all round for the nearly men of Italia ’90 as Italy and England faced off for the dubious honour of third place at the World Cup. This could so easily have been the final had it not been for their respective penalty shootout downfalls in the semis. The curtain came down on the international careers of England coach Bobby Robson – off for a quiet life in Holland – and veteran keeper Peter Shilton, although he probably won’t want to be reminded of his clanger in Bari. Inter and Italy midfielder Nicola Berti drops in for a chat and we also review the tournament action to pick a few of our own bests and worsts from the previous month at the 1990 World Cup.HOST: Mark GodfreyGUESTS: Simon Hart (World in Motion – The Inside Story of Italia ’90), Mike Gibbons (Nessun Dorma pod, The Guardian, When Football Came Home – England, the English and Euro 96), Matthew Crist (Alive and Kicking podcast), Nicola Berti (Inter and Italy midfielder), Patrick Kendrick (Italian football TV commentator)MUSIC: UV Protection
Episode 22 - An End | A Beginning
On a warm summer’s evening in Turin, not only did two proud football nations go head-to-head hoping to earn a place in the 1990 World Cup final, but one also took some of its tentative first steps towards rebirth and redemption after years of decay. What took place that night in the Stadio delle Alpi was two hours of tension and high drama as old rivals England and West Germany thrilled the watching world in the most gripping match of the tournament. We look back at the before, during, and after of this epic semi-final from the perspectives of the press box and the pitch.HOST: Mark GodfreyGUESTS: Pete Davies (All Played Out/One Night in Turin), Simon Hart (World in Motion – The Inside Story of Italia ’90), Patrick Barclay (The Independent, The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph), Paul Parker (England), Thomas Berthold (World Cup winner, West Germany)MUSIC: UV Protection
Episode 21 - See Naples and Die
According to Diego Maradona, the people of Naples were considered foreigners in their own land for 364 days of 1990. On the 365th they were expected to throw their unwavering support behind Italy for the first semi-final of Italia ’90. Never mind the mistrust of the south; never mind the prejudice they suffered from the north. Diego – Napoli’s force of nature and out-of-control deity – pleaded with the people of his city to forsake their country for his as holders Argentina attempted to oust hosts Italy from their own party. We look back at the game that saw the Azzurri gripped with nerves faced with Carlos Bilardo’s streetwise battlers; we analyse Italia ’90 from the Argentine perspective and whether they relished the role as pantomime villains; and we dive into the mayhem of Maradona’s time in the Mezzogiorno. HOST: Mark GodfreyGUESTS: Richard Hall (The Gentleman Ultra, Football Italia), John Ludden (Once Upon A Time in Naples), Diego Zandrino (FIFA.com)MUSIC: UV Protection
Episode 20 - Paying the Penalty
Today, it’s all about the penalties; but not the dreaded shootouts. West Germany eased past Czechoslovakia courtesy of one and we’re joined by a World Cup winner to discuss that match; but it’s England who have the greater reliance on the spot kick as they take on the lively Cameroon in Naples. Having taken a battering during the game, Bobby Robson’s side had the one thing that the African heroes desperately needed on the night – a cool head in front of goal. Step forward Gary Lineker…HOST: Mark GodfreyGUESTS: Pete Davies (All Played Out/One Night in Turin), Simon Hart (World in Motion – The Inside Story of Italia ’90), Pierre Littbarski (World Cup winner, West Germany)MUSIC: UV Protection
Episode 19 - The Scruffy Sicilian
Yugoslavia produced one of the great international sides of the 90s yet were denied the opportunity to reach their full potential due to the civil war which tore the country apart. We remember their efforts at this World Cup before turning our attention to the man who made Italia '90 his own, scoring six goals, the player of the tournament award, and almost carrying the hosts to ultimate glory; the leading man of the ‘Notte Magiche’, Salvatore Schillaci.HOST: Mark GodfreyGUESTS: Nebojša Marković (Mondo Sport), Richard Hall (The Gentleman Ultra, Football Italia)MUSIC: UV Protection
This is just magnificent. The ugliest of World cups presented in a beautiful way, put into historical context and full of great stories and details.