In the renewal of a very, very, very old rivalry in Europe, France will take on Italy in the championship of the World Cup on Sunday in Berlin.
Italy will be aiming to join Brazil as the only nation to win four World Cups (Brazil has five). Italy won the championship in 1934, 1938, and 1982. Italy lost in the final in 1970 and 1994, both times to Brazil.
France is looking for its second World Cup, winning in 1998. France lost in the semifinals before in 1958 and 1982.
If France wins, they would be the first team to win the Cup without winning its first group since Italy in 1982. That was actually the third straight time that the winner hadn't won its group as neither Argentina in 1978 nor West Germany in 1974 finished atop their groups.
Both nations have hosted the World Cup twice. Italy was the host in 1934 and 1990. France hosted in 1938 and 1998.
In World Cup play, Italy beat France in 1938 (3-1) and in 1978 (2-1). France beat Italy in 1986 (2-0) and on penalties in 1998. France won the last meeting between the two nations in the Euro 2000 tournament, 2-1 in overtime.
The first meeting between the two countries was in 58 B.C. when Julius Caesar and a sizeable chunk of the Roman Legion and started the conquest of Gaul. The whole process took about nine years as penalty kick tiebreakers hadn't yet been developed.
Right now, Marcelo Lippi is trying to divide the French defense into thirds.