Italy II Division

Second Division or Serie B.
Top 4 teams promoted to Serie A and the last 4 teams relegated to Serie C1. Head-to-head results used as tie-breaker if three or more teams had same points: this rule determined one of the relegated teams.
Catanzaro – last with 25 points and going down. They shared number one place in tied games with Pisa: 19 ties each. Exactly half the games played during the season.
Como – 19th with 27 points and relegated. They made their own record – few Second Division teams used foreign players and no foreigner played bellow second level, so Como was perhaps the first team with foreigner to go down to Third Division. Yet, it was not certain at all that Brazilian Milton will actually play for Como next season – most likely he would be transferred between seasons.
Licata – 18th with 28 points and out.
Monza – 17th with 34 points. Relegated as victims of the head-to-head rule: 4 teams ended with 34 points and if goal-difference decided Monza would have been 14th.
Messina – 16th with 34 points. If goal-difference decided, they were going down, but head-to-head rule saved them at the expense of Monza.
Barletta – 15th with 34 points.
Cosenza – 14th with 34 points.
Triestina – 13th with 35 points.
Avellino – 12th with 35 points.
Padova – 11th with 37 points.
Brescia – 10th with 37 points.
Pescara – 9th with 39 points. So far, the second team with a foreigner, but Queiroz Tita played little.
Foggia – 8th with 39 points.
Reggiana – 7th with 40 points.
Reggina – 6th with 42 points.
Ancona – 5th with 43 points.
Parma – 4th with 46 points. Promoted, which was enormous success for the club. If they played top league football before, it was so long ago nobody remembered. Parma was a fresh change – for years former First Division teams usually got promoted not long after relegation. Club and squad were yet unknown and confusion have to be avoided here: on the picture is not the well-known Yugoslav Safet Susic, but an Italian Massimo Susic.
And here is the full squad of Parma – their surprising success deserves a second picture.
Cagliari – 3rd with 47 points and promoted back to top flight.
Pisa – 2nd with 51 points and sharing first place in ties with relegated Catanzaro – 19 games out of 38 total. They were also the team with least losses – only 3. Pisa meandered between First and Division during the whole decade, now were going up again and hoping to stay with the best longer than a 1-2 seasons.
Torino won the championship with 53 points from 19 wins, 15 ties, 4 losses, and 63-24 goal-difference. As a team recently relegated from First Division, Torino had the most famous squad in the league and thus expected to be end among the best, if not first. They were the only Second Division team with 2 foreign players – the Yugoslav national team player Haris Skoro was well known, but Brazilian winger Luis Muller was world-class star, who went to play his second World Cup shortly after winning Second Division with Torino. The 1980s were difficult and troublesome decade for Torino, eventually plummeting them to second level, a real shame, but now there was hope the terrible times were over and perhaps the 1990s will restore the faded glory… well, hopes for the future.
For the moment, Torino was Second Division champion and returning to First Division.

Italy III Division Girone B

Girone B.

Ischia – last with 18 points and relegated.
Francavilla – 17th with 21 points and relegated.
Sambenedettese – 16th with 22 points and relegated.

Brindisi – 15th with 27 points and relegated.
Campania – 14th with 27 points. Survived on better goal-difference.
Torres – 13th with 28 points.
Siracusa – 12th with 30 points.
Monopoli – 11th with 30 points.
Fidelis Andria – 10th with 33 points.
Perugia – 9th with 33 points.
Ternana – 8th with 38 points.
Casarano – 7th with 39 points.
Catania – 6th with 39 points.
Palermo – 5th with 43 points.
Giarre – 4th with 44 points.
Casertana – 3rd with 44 points. However, they had 2 points deducted – if not punished, the team would have been 2nd and promoted.
Salernitana – 2nd with 46 points and promoted. Lucky, though – if Casertana had full record, Salernitana would have stayed in Third Division for having worse goal-difference than Casertana. But up they went.
Taranto won Girone B with 48 points: 17 wins, 14 ties, 3 losses, 41-17 goal-difference. Happily promoted.
Thus, Modena, Lucchese, Salernitana, and Taranto were going to play in the Second Division next season.

Italy III Division Girone A

Third Division – Serie C1. Two groups of 18 teams each, the last 4 relegated to Serie C2 and the top 2 promoted to Second Division. Tradition was unbreakable – defense and low scoring: only 1 team in both groups ended with single-digit ties (Casarano with 9 in Girone B), but 2 teams managed to tie 20 of their 34 games: Mantova in Girone A and Torres in Girone B. Caseratana was the best-scoring team in Third Division with 49 goals and the lowest were Sambenedettese and Ischia with 17 goals each.
Girone A.
Derthona – last and relegated with 21 points.
Montevarchi – 17th with 24 points and relegated.
Alessandria – 16th with 28 points and relegated.
Prato – 15th with 30 points and relegated.
L.R. Vicenza – after winning decisive match against Prato they took 14th place with 30 points and stayed in the league.
Arezzo – 13th with 31 points.

Spezia – 12th with 32 points.
Trento – 11th with 32 points.
Casale – 10th with 33 points.
Carpi – 9th with 34 points.
Piacenza – 8th with 34 points.
Carrarese – 7th with 35 points.
Chievo – 6th with 35 points.
Mantova – 5th with 36 points.
Venezia – 4th with 39 points.
Empoli – 3rd with 43 points.
Lucchese – 2nd and promoted with 47 points.
Modena won the championship with 48 points from 18 wins, 12 ties, 4 losses (their rivals Lucchese lost only twice this season) and 36-9 goal-difference. 36 goals in 34 games was nothing, but when it came to defending their own net no team came even close to them in any league. Remarkable achievement, yet, the best was not even winning the championship, but the promotion to Second Division.

Italy IV Division Girone C & D

IV Division.
Girone C.
Campobasso – last with 20 points and out.
Forli – 17th with 25 points and relegated.
Bisceglie – 16th with 26 points and relegated.
Vis Pesaro – 15th with 27 points.
Civitanovese – 14th with 29 points.
Lanciano – 13th with 29 points.
Jesi – 12th with 31 points.
Celano – 11th with 33 points.
Giulianova – 10th with 33 points.
Riccione – 9th with 34 points.
Castel di Sangro – 8th with 35 points.
Rimini – 7th with 36 points.
Teramo – 6th with 39 points.
Gubbio – 5th with 39 points.
Trani – 4th with 42 points.
Chieti – 3rd with 44 points.
Baracca Lugo – 2nd with 45 points. Lost top position on worse goal-difference, but earned promotion.
Fano clinched first place on 3-goal better goal-difference. 17 wins, 11 ties, 6 losses, 43-23 and 45 points. Happily promoted to III Division.
Girone D.
Trapani – last with 12 points and relegated. The team with the worst record in the whole IV Division.
Adelaide Nicastro – 17th with 26 points and relegated.
Martina – 16th with 29 points and relegated.
Ostia Mare – 15th with 30 points.
Potenza – 14th with 31 points.
Fasano – 13th with 32 points.
Kroton – 12th with 32 points.
Altamura – 11th with 35 points.
Latina – 10th with 35 points.
Lodigiani – 9th with 35 points.
Pro Cavese – 8th with 36 points.
Turris – 7th with 37 points.
Vigor Lamezia – 6th with 38 points.
Atletico Leonzio – 5th with 38 points.
Acireale – 4th with 38 points.
Frosinone – 3rd with 40 points.
Nola – 2nd with 43 points and promoted.
Battipagliese won the championship with 45 points: 17 wins, 11 ties, 6 losses, 40-20 scorind record. Promoted to III Division to their delight.
And one last note: In the summer of 1990 Novara, Bisceglie, Martina, Lecco and Molfetta readmitted
instead of Pro Vercelli, La Palma, Brindisi, Frosinone and Imola not admitted for money problems. Not everything was decided on the pitch after all, but this was not concerning the teams promoted up: Siena, Pavia, Varese, Pro Sesto, Fano, Baracca Lugo, Battigliese, and Nola.

Italy IV Division Girone A & B

IV Division or
Four groups of 18 teams each, the last 3 relegated to V level and the top 2 promoted to III Division.
Girone A
Cuoiopelli – last with 19 points and relegated.
Rondinella – 17th with 29 points and relegated.
Novara – 16th with 30 points. What a terrible fate… once upon a time Novara played First Division football – now relegated to V level.
Pontedera – 15th with 30 points. Barely survived.
Olbia – 14th with 31 pointa.
La Palma – 13th with 31 points.
Cecina – 12th with 31 points.
Oltrepo – 11th with 31 points.
Pro Livorno – 10th with 31 points.
Tempio – 9th with 32 points.

Cuneo – 8th with 33 points.
Ponsacco – 7th with 34 points.
Poggibonsi – 6th with 35 points.
Sarzanese – 5th with 36 points.
Massese – 4th with 38 points.
Pro Vercelli – 3rd with 44 points.
Pavia – 2nd with 46 points and promoted to III Division.
Siena – champions with 51 points and promoted to III Division. Very strong season: 18 wins, 15 ties, just a single lost match , and 50-19 scoring record.
Girone B.
Juventus Domo – last with 19 points and relegated.
Orceana – 17th with 22 points and relegated.
Sassuolo – 16th with 26 points and relegated.
Pergocrema – 15th with 29 points.
Cittadella – 14th with 30 points.
Virescit Bergamo – 13th with 31 points.
Ospitaletto – 12th with 31 points.
Ravenna – 11th with 32 points.
SPAL – 10th with 36 points.
Suzzara – 9th with 37 points.
Valdagno – 8th with 37 points.
Legnano – 7th with 37 points.
Treviso – 6th with 37 points.
Solbiatese – 5th with 37 points.
Centese – 4th with 39 points.
Palazzolo-Telgate – 3rd with 43 points.
Pro Sesto – 2nd with 44 points and promoted to III Division.
Varese – clinched top place with 45 points from 15 wins, 15 ties, 4 losses, and 33-17 goal-difference. Less than 1 goal per game average… well, that’s Italian football. Promoted up, naturally.

Italy 5th Level

Italy. Fifth level of the vast Italian pyramid, named Campionato Interregionale. Only the final winners, promoted to IV Division or Serie C2: 12 teams in total.

Imola. However, later Imola was not admitted to play in the upper level for financial reasons.
Fiorenzuola, and


The European Supercup. It was played in the fall of 1990 with huge gap between the first and second leg- the first match was on October 10th, the second on November 29th. No matter what, the ‘biggest’ trophy of the European pyramid never got the intended importance – it was difficult to find proper time for it, fans, observers, and clubs never warmed up to it, as attendance amply shows. It was the new season, domestic and international, on the mind of coaches, players, administration, fans. And since it was a new season already, the opponents featured slightly different squads than those which won the Champions Cup and the Cup Winners Cup back in the spring of 1990. Milan was apparently stronger and perhaps more motivated, but there was a problem, becoming increasingly bigger: the injuries of the flying Dutch. It has been Gullit more than an year ago, now van Basten was out. Unfortunately, there was no solution and it looked like that Milan was going always to miss some key player and as soon as he was back, the next one was out. One more problem was goalkeeping, which was always somewhat not at par with the rest of squad. But Sampdoria had similar problems – either that, or Vujadin Boskov preferred to keep his foreign players fresh and healthy for the Italian championship. Whatever the circumstances, neither team appeared to be in full strength. Yet, it was a trophy to be won…

Important, not important, Milan won.
Franco Baresi lifted the Supercup,
Everybody happy.
1st leg, Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, 10 Oct 1990, att 25000

UC Sampdoria (1) 1 AC Milan (1) 1
31′ 1-0 S: Mikhailitchenko
39′ 1-1 M: Evani

UC Sampdoria: Pagliuca; Mannini, Invernizzi, Pari, Lanna, Pellegrini, Mikhailitchenko,
Lombardo, Branca, Mancini, Dossena
AC Milan: Pazzagli; Tassoti, Costacurta, Guadenzi, Galli, F.Baresi, Donadoni (Rijkaard 59),
Ancelotti, Massaro, Gullit, Evani (Stroppa 70)
Referee: Rosa dos Santos (Portugal)

2nd leg, San Siro Stadium, Milan, 29 Nov 1990, att 25000

AC Milan (1) 2 UC Sampdoria (0) 0
44′ 1-0 M: Gullit
76′ 2-0 M: Rijkaard
Milan won 3-1 on aggregate

AC Milan: Pazzagli; Tassotti, Baresi, Costacurta (F.Galli 78), Maldini, Carbone, Ancelotti,
Rijkaard, Evani, Gullit (Donadoni 73), Agostini
UC Sampdoria: Pagliuca; Lanna, Pellegrini, Vierchowod, Bonetti, Pari, Mikhailitchenko
(Dossena 67), Katanec (Branca 73), Lombardo, Vialli, Mancini
Referee: Petrovic (Yugoslavia)
Milan with the Supercup – it was their year, so far they won the Champions Cup and the Supercup and by the end of the year will collect the Intercontinental Cup. All international trophies in their hands, a testimony of a great team. A testimony of great Italian football too – all European cups went to the Italians, two all-Italian finals. Let forget the World Cup fiasco.


The UEFA Cup. And it was really an Italian year – at the final, two Italian teams, making 4 Italian clubs total at the European finals. Juventus vs Fiorentina. Both teams permitted to be beaten only once on the road to the final, but Juventus had it tougher, yet, seemingly stronger campaign – they eliminated Gornik Zabrze (Poland) 1-0 and 4-2, Paris SG (France) 1-0 and 2-1, Karl-Marx-Stadt (DDR) 2-1 and 1-0, Hamburger SV (West Germany) 2-0 (in Hamburg) and 1-2 (in Turin), and finally 1. FC Koln (West Germany) 3-2 and 0-0. Fiorentina was… economical: Atletico Madrid (Spain) 0-1, 1-0 and 3-1 in the penalty shoot-out, Sochaux (France) 0-0 and 1-1 (away), Dinamo Kiev (USSR) 1-0 and 0-0, Auxerre (France) 1-0 and 1-0, and in the ½ finals Werder (West Germany) 1-1 (away) and 0-0. Fiorentina never scored more than a single goal in a game, but in addition they were punished for fan violence by UEFA and had to play their home games in Peruggia all the way to the final, where they had to play home game at least 300 km from Florence, for the fans – and it seems also the club itself – did not take the punishment seriously. Yes, the English clubs were still banished from playing in the European tournaments, but violence already spread far and wide and was not only English problem anymore. The ½ finals, however, stated clearly who was on top of European football now: if 10 years ago West German clubs prevailed and reached finals, now the Italians eliminated the iron West Germans and made all-Italian final. The final, however, was unpredictable, but more for out of the field reasons – Juventus looked like having an advantage not only because Fiorentina was not able to play at home, but also because of rumors of Roberto Baggio going to Juventus (and he transferred shortly after the finals, to the great displeasure of Fiorentina’s fans). But on the other hand Dino Zoff was already informed that his coaching contract with Juventus was not going to be extended and the finals were his last games – hardly a motivation for both coach and team. Of course, Juventus was not in great shape recently and the transfers of Soviet stars Aleynikov and especially Zavarov were huge failure. Zavarov was no longer with Juventus, but the team did not improve much, even if winning the Italian Cup. Somewhat, pluses and minuses canceled each other and the there was no real favourite at the final.
As the games went… Juventus took full advantage from his home match and won it 3-1. Two early goals were seemingly crucial, but the game was ugly both on the pitch and on the stands. It was summed as ‘constant verbal and physical abuse’ and the press urged the Italian Federation to sanction all involved, that is both clubs, but… the Federation decided to postpone decision after the second leg of the final. Everybody will be sanctioned, especially 4 players of Fiorentina, but later. And the teams traveled to distant Avellino for the second leg. By now observers were pretty certain that Juventus already won the UEFA Cup – Fiorentina had to look for particular result: to score a minimum of 2 goals and permit nil, but since they never scored more than 1 goal on the road to the final, the task of scoring a minimum of 2 goals seems entirely fantastic. The second leg was as ugly as the first, despite the warnings and threats by official bodies: 7 yellow cards were shown and Bruno (Juventus) was expelled in the 58th minute. Juventus, as it turned out, played its record 200th game in the European tournaments and celebrated the occasion by playing deep defense. Moving across the central line into enemy half was not in their books and as a result there was a grand total of 5 shoots toward both nets – 3 times Fiorentina, twice Juventus. Only Roberto Baggio came close to actual scoring, but Tacconi saved. It was not a match to remember and ended 0-0. Juventus won the UEFA Cup.

Well, the pictures tell it all – a lot of kicking and battling, very little football.
Tacconi lifted the UEFA Cup,
Juventus celebrated their victory…
Final 1st Leg, Stadio Comunale, Turin, 2 May 1990, att 45000

Juventus (1) 3 AC Fiorentina (1) 1
3′ 1-0 J: Galia
10′ 1-1 F: Buso
59′ 2-1 J: Casiraghi
73′ 3-1 J: De Agostini

Juventus: Tacconi; Napoli, De Agostini, Galia, Bruno (Alessio 46); Bonetti, Aleinikov,
Barros, Marocchi; Casiraghi, Schillaci
AC Fiorentina: Landucci; Dell’Oglio, Volpecina, Pin, Battistini; Dunga, Nappi, Kubik (Malusci 87),
Baggio; Buso, Di Chiara
Referee: Aladren (Spain)

Final 2nd Leg, Stadio Partenio, Avellino, 16 May 1990, att 32000

AC Fiorentina (0) 0 Juventus (0) 0
Juventus won 3-1 on aggregate

AC Fiorentina: Landucci; Dell’Oglio, Volpecina, Pin, Battistini; Dunga, Nappi (Zironelli 71),
Kubik, Baggio; Buso, Di Chiara
Juventus: Tacconi; Napoli, De Agostini, Galia, Bruno; Alessio, Aleinikov, Barros
(Avallone 72), Marocchi; Casiraghi (Rosa 79), Schillaci
Referee: Schmidhuber (West Germany)
Fiorentina lost and under the circumstances… one can’t be really sorry for them. Not a bad squad, but not great either and Roberto Baggio leaving… sad to say, but the first winners of the Cup Winners Cup back in 1961 did not add a second European trophy.
Juventus won the UEFA Cup for 2nd time – 13 years passed from their first victory, which was the first European trophy the grand club won, but after that there was enough success and Juventus was the only club at the moment which won all European cups. It was good ending for 18 years of service as player and coach for Dino Zoff – with a victory. The team, however, was well bellow some vintages of which Zoff participated as player or coach. No wonder changes were in order and already started – Zoff was out, Roberto Baggio was coming.

Cup Winners Cup

Cup Winners Cup. One old winner of the trophy against the losing finalist of 1989. Anderlecht, well respected and constantly strong, was looking for its 3rd Cup Winners Cup. Sampdoria reached the final for a second consecutive year and was eager to win this time. The road to the final of both teams was impressive – collectively, they lost just a single game. Both finalists had their tougher opposition in the 1/8 finals: Sampdoria eliminated Borussia Dortmund (West Germany) 1-1 and 2-0 and Anderlecht prevailed over Barcelona 2-0 and 1-2 in extra time. That was the only match which either finalist lost on their way to the final. The rest was relatively easy: Sampdoria rolled ever Brann (Norway) 2-0 and 1-0, then came Borussia Dortmund, followed by Grasshopper (Switzerland) 2-0 and 2-1, and in the ½ finals Monaco (France) 2-2 and 2-0. Anderlecht: Ballymena United (Northern Ireland) 6-0 and 4-0, Barcelona, Admira-Wacker (Austria) 2-0 and 1-1, and Dinamo Bucharest (Romania) in the ½ finals 1-0 and 1-0. So, no favorite at the final even if Sampdoria had more famous stars: Katanec (Yugoslavia) and especially the lethal strikers Vialli and Mancini. Like the Champions Cup final, here was a clash of great coaches too: Yugoslavian Vujadin Boskov (Sampdoria) and Dutch Aad de Mos (Anderlecht).

A match between equals, so regular time ended scoreless.

Things changed in the extra time, Sampdoria getting the upper hand.

Vialli scored twice. And that was it.

Final, Nya Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, 9 May 1990, att 20103

UC Sampdoria (0) 2 RSC Anderlecht (0) 0 aet
105′ 1-0 S: Vialli
107′ 2-0 S: Vialli

UC Sampdoria: Pagliuca; L.Pellegrini, Mannini, Vierchowod, Carboni; Pari, Katanec (Salsano 93),
Invernizzi (Lombardo 53), Dossena; Vialli, Mancini
RSC Anderlecht: De Wilde; Grün, Marchoul, Keshi, Kooiman; Vervoort, Musonda, Gudjohnson,
Jankovic (Oliveira 112); Degryse (Nilis 103), Van der Linden
Referee: Galler (Switzerland)
Sampdoria happily got the Cup.

Then it was just the see of blue on the pitch and on the stands.

Anderlecht was unable to win 3rd Cup Winners Cup and it was just right under the circumstances: no matter how good and steady the club was, money talked more than ever before by the end of the 1980s. And the Italian clubs had the money… Yes, Anderlecht had top coach and impressive squad, but Keshi, Grun, Vervoort, Jankovic, de Wilde, Degryse, and Gudjohnsen were bellow the level of Sampdoria’a leading players. Luc Nilis was still too young to be a big factor and Oliveira was beyond his prime. Anderlecht was strong, well balanced, but… not at Sampdoria level, not even on the level of its own earlier vintages. Small difference, but crucial in matters of life and death. And the Africans were not yet prime stars of world football…

Sampdoria won its first European trophy. Of course, the team was going up for some time, but they lost the same Cup final the previous year and now did better, adding one more name to the list of Cup winners. Not only the city of Genoa equalized itself to Milano and Torino, bypassing Rome, but the success of Samdoria also firmly established the leading position of Italian club football in Europe. Vujadin Boskov knew his job very well indeed and he made impressive blend of young and experienced stars – Katanec (Yugoslavia), Dossena and Mannini at their prime, Vialli and Mancini, still young, but experienced and top talent, old, but very impressive Vierchowod, and young talented Pagliuca. The rest were well respected players, if not first class stars. Well rounded team, combining fresh talent and experience, as every great team does. Thus, success came and it did not look that Sampdoria was one-time wonder, but a team going to stay for awhile and do even better things. Well deserved victory.

European Champions Cup

European Champions Cup. Two well known teams met at the final – the current Cup holder AC Milan and Benfica, which was hoping once again to restore the glory of the 1960s. Benfica reached the final after impressive run of 7 wins and only 1 lost match, but they had lucky draws too: Derry City (Ireland) 2-1 and 4-0, Honved (Hungary) 2-0 and 7-0, Dnepr (USSR) 1-0 and 3-0, and in the ½ finals Olympique Marseille (France) 1-2 and 1-0. Milan had it tougher: HJK Helsinki (Finland) 4-0 and 1-0, Real Madrid (Spain) 2-0 and 0-1, KV Mechelen (Belgium) 0-0 and 2-0 after extra time, and finally Bayern (West Germany) 1-0 and 1-2 after extra time. At the end, away goals brought both opponents to the big final in Vienna (Austria). Both teams in full strength and equally ambitious made for rather tough final in which Frank Rijkard shined.

He was everywhere
Defending, organizing, and attacking, outshining his equally famed teammates Gullit and van Basten.
And in the 68th minute Rijkard crowned his performance by scoring the goal, which happened to be the whole difference at the final whistle between winners and losers.
AC Milan (0) 1 SL Benfica (0) 0
68′ 1-0 M: Rijkaard

AC Milan (trainer Sacchi): G.Galli; Tassotti, Costacurta, Baresi, Maldini; Colombo (F.Galli 89),
Rijkaard, Ancelotti (Massaro 72), Evani; Gullit, Van Basten
SL Benfica (trainer Eriksson): Silvino; Jose Carlos, Aldair, Ricardo, Samuel; Vitor Paneira (Vata 76),
Valdo, Thern, Hernani; Magnusson, Pacheco (Brito 66)
Referee: Kohl (Austria)
Thanks to Rijkard, Franco Baresi received the European Champions Cup

One more triumph for the best team in the world.
European champions two years in a row!

One can be sorry for Benfica – once again they came close to triumph and once again they were beaten. Great coach – Sven Goran Eriksson (Sweden) – and impressive squad featuring along with Portuguese top players Brazilian stars Ricardo, Aldair, and Valdo, plus Swedish best Thern and Magnusson. Yet, Benfica permitted a goal in its net and failed to score… There was no consolation, only grieve and cursing the ‘Bela Gutmann curse’.
Hardly a need to introduce the winners – Arrigo Sacchi made excellent team, led by the great Dutch trio Gullit-van Basten-Rijkard. Compared to Benfica, Milan had more class and was a team at its peak. So much talent provided for different players taking a key role in particular games – this time, it was Frank Rijkard and Milan repeated its success of 1989. Not only that, but Milan climbed to number 2 most successful European club, collecting their 4th European Champions Cup. Now they shared second place with Liverpool, but looked like the Italians not only will come ahead of the English, but will challenge and perhaps overcome the great record of Real Madrid.