Italia '90 is the name given to the 1990 FIFA World Cup finals tournament held in Italy from 08 June 1990 to 08 July 1990. The format remained the same as in 1986, with 24 qualified teams divided into six groups of four. The top two teams and four best third-place finishers from the six groups advanced to the knockout stage, which eliminated the teams until a winner emerged. 52 games were played in total..
The final was won by West Germany who beat Argentina 1-0. England came fourth, losing 2-1 to the host nation in the third place play-off.
This was the last time national teams known as West Germany, USSR and Czechoslovakia participated in World Cup finals.
Costa Rica, Rep. of Ireland and the UAE made their first appearances in the finals.
The USA were participating for the first time in forty years.
The tournament is known for being the 'poorest' in terms of goals and overall quality of play, although as having most lasting influence on the game as a whole with the introduction of new rules, the 'fair play' philosophy, three points win and even the Premier League in England a few years after. At the time it was the also most watched World Cup in history in non-unique viewers.
- 08 June 1990 - Argentina 0-1 Cameroon - a surprise win forthe African team in the opening match. Two Cam players are sent off.