Reigning World and four-time champions Italy are to play February's mouthwatering friendly match with five-time champions Brazil at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London, it has been confirmed.
"Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Emirates Stadium will host an International Friendly match between Brazil and Italy on Tuesday 10th February 2009," read a statement on the English Premier League clubs' website.
The match will be used as vital preparation ahead of both nations' respective 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaigns that resume in March 2009.
"Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is delighted and honoured to be hosting this international match between two of the world's greatest national teams," Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said.
"Brazil and Italy both have proud and very successful football histories and we are looking forward to welcoming the teams and many Brazilian and Italian supporters to Emirates Stadium in February.
"Some of the world's finest footballers will be on display and we are all very excited at what is sure to be a thrilling contest."
The friendly will mark the fourth time that the Brazilians have used Arsenal's 60,000-seat stadium for a friendly match, having played Argentina, Portugal and Sweden there since it opened in 2006.
Before that clash of the two superpowers of international football, Marcello Lippi will be looking to extend his 30-match record-equaling unbeaten run when his Azzurri side face their final match of 2008 against Greece in Athens on November 19.
The friendly with Brazil - the first international match of 2009 - is followed by a crucial World Cup qualifying Group 8 double header against Montenegro and the Republic of Ireland.
Before the remaining World Cup qualifiers in September and October 2009, Italy will take part in the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa between 14 to 28 June 2009. The World champions will be joined by the 2010 World Cup hosts, as well as all the other continental champions - Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand, Spain and USA.
Italy Calendar (Updated: 22-11-2008)
19-11-2008: F - Greece v Italy (Athens)
10-02-2009: F - Italy v Brazil (London, England)
28-03-2009: WCQ - Montenegro v Italy (Podgorica)
01-04-2009: WCQ - Italy v Republic of Ireland (TBA)
06-06-2009: F - TBA
10-06-2009: F - TBA
15-06-2009: CC - USA v Italy (Pretoria, South Africa)
18-06-2009: CC - Egypt v Italy (Johannesburg, South Africa)
21-06-2009: CC - Italy v Brazil (Pretoria, South Africa)
12-08-2009: F - TBA
05-09-2009: WCQ - Georgia v Italy (Tbilisi)
09-09-2009: WCQ - Italy v Bulgaria (TBA)
10-10-2009: WCQ - Republic of Ireland v Italy (Dublin)
14-10-2009: WCQ - Italy v Cyprus (TBA)
* The date, fixtures and venues listed above are subject to change. Further friendly matches for 2009 will be announced at a later date.