UNITED STATES—Football is not just a sport in Italy. It’s a way of life for Italians. It has been shown time and time again by the fans of Azzuri how strongly they feel about the sport and their favorite players.

Italy has always been known for its defensive tactics that won them the FIFA World Cup trophy in 1934, 1938, 1982, and 2006. No other country except Brazil has outperformed Italy when it comes to winning football’s most supreme trophy.

While most of Azzurri’s victories are attributable to their conservative approach to the game, there has been a slight change in the playing patterns of the players. Over the years, the basic strategy of Azzurri has been to slow the game by playing backwards. Though it may not be the case right now, Azzurri had one of the greatest attackers who were efficient enough to give a skillful blow. If you want to bet on Azzurri’s upcoming matches, you can find some of the top betting sites in the US on Betstation.

Today, Azzurri has some players that are trying new tactical approaches and have adopted a rather aggressive approach.

Nevertheless, both the cautious and aggressive style of Azzurri would not have been possible without skillful players and their tactful approaches to the game. Here are the 5 greatest players that contributed the most to help Italy claim victories in 3 FIFA World Cups:

1. Giuseppe Meazza

Giuseppe “Peppino” Meazza is one the best Italian football players. He entered professional football at the mere age of 17. Meazza made several records that have still not been broken by any player, such as scoring 31 goals in maiden Serie A campaign in his debut year. In his 13-year-long career, Meazza scored 242 goals, won three Serie A titles, and got one Copper Italia title. He also played for Turin rivals Juventus and local rivals Milan.

The player’s greatest international achievement was the country’s first FIFA World Cup trophy in 1934. He also starred in Azzurri’s second World Cup victory in 1938.

2. Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon is one of the most iconic goalkeepers in the history of Azzurri. The player is currently trying to help his first professional club, Parma. Buffon won two records: 10 Serie A record and 12 Serie A goalkeepers of the year. He retired from international football at the age of 40 with 176 caps, 80 of them as a captain. He has only conceded one goal on the way to the final. Though, the team still managed to claim the victory in the finals.

3. Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo is known as one of the most visionary football players in the world. In addition to creativity and vision, Pirlo has several fortes when it comes to the sport, such as ball control, passing, and free kick ability. Though Pirlo played for both Juventus and the Milan clubs and did not show the same loyalty, he is still loved by the fans across the country. He had a winning conservative approach to the game, almost slowing down time and throwing passes to whoever he liked. Pirlo has always had a calm demeanor when on the field. He is one of the greatest playmakers of the last decade.

4. Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero played for Juventus and scored 290 goals in 705 appearances. Piero also won many trophies with the club. He won six Serie A titles, one UEFA Super Cup, and one Champions League. Though Piera primarily played as a deep-lying forward, he was more than capable of adopting offensive positions. After his debut, the player has to wait for 11 years to see success at international level. He has also worked as an adviser for Sky Sport Italia.

5. Franco Baresi

Franco Baresi is one of the most outstanding defenders that have played for Azzurri. The player became the captain of AC Milan at the ripe age of 22. In his 20-years-old career, the player has seen many dark days, including match-fixing and consequently two relegations in the 1980s. However, these dark days were what made him strong enough to lift three European trophies. He won 91 caps for the Azzuri and grabbed the Word Cup home in 1982.