A spectacles spectacle: Lippi at the World Cup Final

Pandemonium erupts as Fabio Grosso hammers home the penalty that hands Italy the 2006 World Cup. Players, substitutes, officials and coaches in blue run on to the pitch, celebrating wildly. One among them keeps his calm – if only for a moment.

Head coach Marcello Lippi turns away from the scene, removes his glasses and places them carefully on the bench behind him. Then he runs to join his squad. As the mastermind behind the country’s first world title in nearly a quarter of a century, such composure could be seen as unusual, but Lippi has been here before - almost.

Ten years earlier, as manager of Juventus, the veteran had led his team the Final of the 1995/6 UEFA Champions League tournament. Playing against Ajax, Juventus took an early lead but were unable to see off the game and the Dutch side drew level, forcing extra time and then penalties. The Italians held their nerve in the shoot-out to claim a 4-2 victory. Lippi joined his team to celebrate on the pitch and, in the process, lost his glasses. He later found them lying shattered on the grass.

In 2006 he would make no such mistake and, before joining the celebrations, he was sure to remove his glasses. The same glasses which are now on show at the FIFA World Football Museum as part of our showcase on Germany 2006.


You can watch highlights from the Final below.