The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) launched the centenary celebrations of the national team with a promise to retell the glorious tale of the Azzurri to new generations across Italy.
FIGC President Giancarlo Abete kicked off the celebrations in Milan on 15 May, the 100th anniversary of Italy's first international against France.
At the Arena Civica where that debut match took place, he unveiled an exhibition entitled 'Football Planet 100 Anni di Storia Azzurra'.
FIGC vice-President Demetrio Albertini and other well-known former players were also present to commemorate the 6-2 Italian victory over their transalpine neighbours, in which the home team wore white shirts, not the azure they would make famous.
The exhibition, which showed for three days in Milan before beginning its tour of various cities and regions of Italy, draws on the treasure trove of memorabilia belonging to the Museo del Calcio, housed at the FIGC's national training and technical centre of Coverciano, near Florence. It aims to show the strong connection between the history of Italy and that of the Italian game.
'100 Anni di Storia Azzurra' features fascinating exhibits ranging from football shirts worn by Italy at past FIFA World Cup tournaments – the oldest being Giovanni Ferrari's jersey from the 1934 finals – balls and boots, through historical documents and publications, to replicas of the old Jules Rimet trophy and current World Cup trophy.
In addition to paying tribute to the men behind the national team's success story – which includes four World Cup triumphs (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), a UEFA European Championship (1968) and an Olympic football gold medal (1936) – the exhibition represents an opportunity for Italian fans to discover the roots of their national game.