England-Italy fixtures are scarce - their Euro 2012 quarter-final meeting was the first in over 10 years. Even scarcer are English wins against the Italians.
The last of those came at Le Tournoi in 1997. A precursor to the following year's World Cup hosted in France, the four-team tournament also consisted of France and Brazil and was where Roberto Carlos struck that extraordinary free-kick in the opening fixture at the Stade de Gerland, creating the myth he was dangerous at set-pieces. He would not score another free-kick for the Seleção until the 2002 World Cup against China.
England faced Italy first in a game which proved to be the turning point in the career of a 22-year-old on the fringes of the Manchester United first-team called Paul Scholes.
Scholes had already played 69 times for United but in the 1996/97 season he had become a peripheral figure. Nicky Butt was making headway, while Karel Poborsky and Jordi Cruyff had arrived along with Ronny Johnsen, who carved out an impressive niche for himself in midfield. Roy Keane was beset by injuries but a certain starter when fit.
Post-season, Eric Cantona had retired, while Cruyff and Poborsky had unimpressed in their debut campaign. A void had opened up and Scholes announced his intentions to fill it on 4 June in Nantes.
His assist for Ian Wright's opener exemplified the continental vision he continues to showcase today, and Wright returned the favour as Scholes scored the first of his 14 international goals 23 minutes later. Surging forward unattended, he hit a powerful drive past the helpless Angelo Peruzzi.
Glenn Hoddle, the England manager, had only given him his debut less than a fortnight earlier against South Africa. Most United fans won't know how integral the late 90s Three Lions coach was to the progression of one of the club's most revered players.