Italy is in its 16th World Cup, missing only the first one in 1930. They have won three times: 1934, 1938, and 1982. They are always among the favorites to win in any World Cup. Italian soccer was hit hard by evidence of widespread corruption by Series A powerhouse Juventus, but it doesn't appear right now that any players of note are involved.
Ghana is making its first appearance in the World Cup. They have won the African championship, the Cup of Nations, four times.