FOOTBALL - Why does Italy play in blue?

Time to settle Italy's jersey question: Why do the Italian kickers actually run as Azzurri up? Football in Italy. Why are the jerseys blue and not green-white-red...?

...what does Italy have to do with BLUE!!? Hardly anyone knows why the four-time world champion wears a blue jersey.

italy becomes european champion: football in italy
That moment when Italy becomes European football champion in 2020...
Photo: FIGC /

Football in Italy, its Blue has a noble background. In 1861, the present nation state of Italy as kingdom founded. Until 1946, the Savoy dynasty sits on the Italian throne.

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The coat of arms of the House of Savoy is a white cross on a red background. The colour of the family, however, is BLUE. And this is supposed to have a quasi sacred reason...

azzurri at the em, football in italy
Italy can play football: FORZA ITALIA!!!
Photo: FIGC /

...a good 600 years ago, Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy set off on a papal crusade (on 20 June 1366). On the flagship of his fleet, he is said to have placed a blue flag next to the Savoy flag.

Blue is the colour of Saint Mary - and since that time also of the Savoy. 

Italy played the first two international matches in its history in white. One year later, in 1911, the footballers played in the colours of the Savoy, in blue, in honour of their king.

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Football is the most popular sport in Italy. Everyone loves the national team. Officially, about 5 million people play football, 1.5 million of them as registered players.

There are 17,000 teams in Italy. 5,000 footballers earn their living as professionals. Every year, half a million games are played in various couches - watch out! Many more Italians play football without a club, on the street or in their free time.

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The Italian Football Federation was founded as early as 1898. The association is one of the three founding members of UEFA. Professional football has existed since the 1930s, long before professional football in other European countries. At that time, if you wanted to become a professional footballer, you had to go to Italy or England.

Without football, Italy looks like this...

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Current stories from Italy...

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written by Pietro Perroni, first published 22 June 2022, updated 6 September

Cover photo: Giorgio Magini/Getty Images Signature via