Was this the greatest match of all times? An inscription outside the Azteca stadium seems to think so. However, rather than going about what happened in this match one must consider the larger significance of this world cup semi-final. This was a threshold for both teams. West Germany would rule world football in 1970s – in both club level and national level. Their own brand of Total Football, while not as pretty as Holland’s, was definitely more effective. West Germany might have lost this match but they got a glimpse of the greater riches that lay beyond. For the Azzuris, it was time for retrospection, time to change. After the black days of 1960s and it’s religious adherence to ultra-defensive Catenaccio, Italian football was finally trying to change in Euro ’68. In this semi-final Italy played a rare game – usually known for their slow paced style, they matched Germany’s break-neck speed in this match. Italy too got a glimpse of what was coming up in next decade – Total Football was all set to dethrone Catenaccio. Ajax’s victory over Internazionale and Juventus in European Cup finals would confirm that fact but 1970 semi-final showed initial signs of this change. Italian football would reform itself in the 70s – reaping rich rewards in the 80s. This was not just a cracking game of football, this was a milestone in the history of European football.