The Azzurri shirt turns 110. Gravina: “It represents thrills and unity”The blue of Italy was first worn on 6 January 1911, when the National Team faced Hungary in Milan. Mancini: “The Azzurri colours bring distant generations close together.”
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
It’s the colour of the sky and has become a symbol of our country. Today, the Azzurri shirt, the National Team’s travelling companion, turns 110. So far, it’s been a long and incredible journey full of goals, emotions, triumphs and a few disappointments too. After the senior men’s side had become the first to wear blue, all the other Italian national teams started to do so too. It was chosen due to it being the colour of Savoia, the ruling house of Italy from 1861 until 1946.
“The Azzurri blue represents thrills and unity,” said FIGC President Gabriele Gravina. “Every single day and whenever the National Team play, it celebrates one of the greatest and most exiting Italian stories. It’s a sign of friendship that goes beyond the football pitch and unites a whole country.”
The Azzurri shirt made its debut against Hungary on 6 January 1911 at the Arena Civica in Milan. It was the National Team’s third match, eight months on from their first-ever fixture against France on 15 May 1910. That day, Italy took to the pitch in white and cruised to a 6-2 victory. In a snowy Milan, 5,000 spectators watched Hungary run out 1-0 winners, although the Azzurri fared much better than they had done in Budapest eight months earlier, when they suffered a 6-1 defeat.
The Azzurri blue has since gone on to accompany the National Team during moments of pain and joy, including four World Cup triumphs, a 1968 European Championship success and an Olympic gold medal. It’s been worn by the greatest champions of Italian football: over 800 athletes have had the privilege to put on the National Team shirt over the past 110 years. And while Italy have worn white, black and green during their history, blue has always remained dominant.
“Wearing the Azzurri shirt is the dream of every child that starts playing football,” Head Coach Roberto Mancini underlined. “It’s a dream that I was fortunate enough to have come true and that I continue today with great enthusiasm as Italy’s Head Coach. The Azzurri colours unite players and fans and are a symbol of unity and cohesion that is capable of bringing distant generations close together as part of one unique team.”
Italy Women Head Coach Milena Bertolini said: “A happy 110th Birthday to the Azzurri shirt! This shirt stands for excellence and represents the desires, emotions and passion of all Italians. Worn with pride and a sense of responsibility by all of us, it’s a sporting symbol of our national identity.”