“We love you,” read Corriere dello Sport’s large-type headline, before going on to say:
“We are great and we know it.
“We have beaten the Germans, they will boycott our pizzas, but we have the taste and flavor of victory.
“It’s a match that will go down in the annals of football, a semi-final that will stay in our hearts and in our minds and which has given us for the sixth time a place in the World Cup final,” said the paper.
The pink-paged Gazetta dello Sport led with “Fly high Italy, fly high,” after two late goals to Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero shocked the Germans into a late extra time defeat, while the Il Messaggero in Rome suggested the Italians were a team “who could beat anyone – even the Martians.”
“The whole of Germany will be mourning this merited 2-0 win for Italy. But against Italy they (Germany) always lose. There is a reason for that and it is simply that Italy is stronger,” the Roman paper continued.
Germany and Italy have met four times in World Cup Finals with the Germans not being able to defeat the Azzurri on any of those occasions, while the semi-final defeat was the hosts’ first ever loss in Dortmund having previously won 13 out of 14 matches there.
The Circo Massimo was the setting for thousands of Italian fans to begin their celebrations after watching the match on a big screen set amid ancient Rome.
The streets of the capital were a sea of red white and green after the late win with cars, mopeds and people on foot chanting and sounding horns in a carnivale atmosphere.
While most bars and eateries provided televisions for patrons to see the drama unfold, Peroni, one of Rome’s most revered restaurants closed their doors for the evening, hanging a sign on the door simply saying:
“Sorry, but Italy are playing.”