Germany drew 1-1 with Italy in a friendly in February 2011 in their most recent encounter, but historically it is the Italians who have come out on top in the encounters between the sides.
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Ahead of their meeting in the Euro 2012 semi-finals in Warsaw on Thursday, here is a look back at some of the more recent matches between the two countries.
Germany have never beaten Italy in the finals of either a World Cup or European championships and this will be their eighth attempt.
July 4 2006
GERMANY 0 ITALY 2 after extra-time (2006 World Cup semi-final)
The abrupt end to Germany's summer fairytale came in Dortmund for Jurgen Klinsmann's team when their run to the final was halted by the Azzurri, who were the better team, but could not break the German defence in normal time of the semi-final.
With penalties looming in extra-time, Andrea Pirlo produced a superb pass and Fabio Grosso fired home past Jens Lehmann in the 119th minute.
Veteran Alessandro Del Piero then scored a second goal just a minute later to finally break German hearts while Italy went onto win the World Cup five days later as Germany's 3-1 victory over Portugal saw them finish third.
July 19 1996
GERMANY 0 ITALY 0 (Euro '96 group match)
Germany's goalkeeper (and current coach) Andreas Kopke was the hero as he saved a penalty from Gianfranco Zola after only nine minutes in Manchester as the Germans went onto win the group and Euro 96, while Italy crashed out.
It was their final group game and after Italy's 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic - who were to go on to the final - they had to beat Germany to qualify while Berti Vogts' team had already beaten Russia and the Czechs.
Germany returned to Old Trafford to beat Croatia and then England at Wembley in the semi-final win over the Three Lions when Gareth Southgate's fateful miss in the penalty shoot-out helped put the Germans in the final.
July 11 1982
ITALY 3 WEST GERMANY 1 (1982 World Cup final)
Germany were well beaten by the Azzurri on this occasion having come into the Madrid final after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over France in the semi after the scores had finished 3-3 following a memorable 30 minutes of extra time.
The Germans ran out of gas against the Italians at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu after Antonio Cabrini fired his first-half penalty wide of goal, Paolo Rossi scored the Italians' first after 57 minutes.
Marco Tardelli then netted from the edge of the area - and produced one of the most memorable goal celebrations ever - before Alessandro Altobelli finished a counter-attack from winger Bruno Conti to make it 3-0.
Veteran Paul Breitner pulled one back for the Germans in the 83rd minute, but Italy went onto claim their first World Cup title in 48 years.
June 14 1978
WEST GERMANY 0 ITALY 0 (1978 World Cup second-round group phase)
Germany came to Argentina as the defending world champions, but their 0-0 draw with the Azzurri in Buenos Aires came before their draw with Holland and eventual exit thanks to a 3-2 defeat by Austria in the second-round games.
The draw with the Italians saw German goalkeeper Sepp Maier play a record 16th World Cup match, but his side were unable to get past Italian captain Dino Zoff in the other goal.
Under the old World Cup system, Germany came second in Group Two, then exited after finishing third in the second-round group while Italy went onto finish third.
June 17 1970
ITALY 4 WEST GERMANY 3 after extra-time (1970 World Cup semi-final)
The "Game of the Century" in Mexico City was played in front of more than 102,000 spectators at the Estadio Azteca in stifling heat.
Italy led for most of the match after Roberto Boninsegna scored in the eighth minute, but defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, who played in the Italian league at the time, dramatically levelled for Germany in the 90th minute.
The game went to extra time and Gerd Mueller put West Germany ahead in the 95th minute, but Tarcisio Burgnich equalised four minutes later then Luigi Riva put the Italians back in front in the 104th minute.
In a nail-biting finale, Mueller scored again to make it 3-3 after 110 minutes, but just a minute later Italy's Gianni Rivera found himself unmarked near the area to score the dramatic winner.
An exhausted Italy were to lose 4-1 in the final to an admittedly great Brazilian side.