On a night where Gigi Buffon added even more history to his already prolific resume, there were no Superman heroics needed. He made a couple of saves, yet they were ones that any goalkeeper would consider routine at the very most. Nothing too difficult, which couldn't be said a couple days ago in the Azzurri's last World Cup qualifier where Buffon was flying through the air like a man possessed.
What was needed was a comeback victory to book a ticket to Brazil.
Second-half goals from Giorgio Chiellini — it only made sense that a Juve player would score the first Azzurri goal at Juventus Stadium, didn't it? — and Mario Balotelli from the spot ensured Italy would take part in the 2014 World Cup in their 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Czech Republic.
Another one-goal win? You must be shocked, guys.
Or not at all.
Italy did what Italy does — just enough to clinch qualification, nothing out of the ordinary, simply grind out a result. it's not some newfound discovery, really. This is Italy's DNA. It doesn't matter who the manager is. Italy just gets results during qualification for major tournaments no matter how well or poorly the team plays as a whole.
End result on Tuesday night: The Italian national team is 1 for 1 at Juventus Stadium.
What did San Gigi have to say after the game? Well, I'm glad you asked.
"Once that first half was over, we can now say that we can celebrate everything - my little personal record, but above all the qualification for the World Cup.
"I thank all the lads, as thanks to them I can celebrate 360 degrees tonight. We have created so much together over these years and I thank the fans for cheering us on today, as it felt like a new atmosphere to have so much support for the Nazionale. That wasn't always the case."
(Source: Football Italia)
"Little" record is a bit modest, Gigi, but I'll let it slide since we all love you so much and it's a night where you deserved every bit of praise you got. And it was only fitting that Buffon got his record and Italy wrapped up their spot in next year's World Cup in Turin. The past three years have shown just how important Juve is to the national team. The Azzurri's backbone is the defense and midfield — which is almost always filled with Juventus players, especially in defense.
And now the international break is over and done with. I hear there's a rather important Juventus game on Saturday.