Italy 81/82 a treat for you, not your opponent – What you need to know

World Cup winners Italy ’82 deliver a thumping great twist to the Time Vault Soccer football card game. Whether you go with the World Cup winning starting 11 with Bergomi replacing the injured Antognoni, stick to Enzo Bearzot’s preferred team or customize your own formation you are in for a treat.

A treat for you. Not your opponent. They’re going to be sulking like an 8 year old as you soak up the pressure, kick their star player up in the air and then amble off with the ball on the counter.


Italy ’82 are more than just princes of the dark arts. Their Time Vault Soccer squad is built on defensive steel, full bloodied commitment and attacking flair.

Yes, they can kick your opponents players up in the air and get away with it. Yes, they can mark players out of the game. And yes they can turn defence into attack faster than Lulu, the Time Vault Soccer working cocker, can face plant into a hedge in hot pursuit of the local wildlife. And believe us, that’s quick!

The beauty of this Italian squad is that it forces your opponent to reconsider how they play. A battering ram strategy is likely to prove both wasteful and leave them vulnerable at the back. Similarly a poorly planned, scrambling defence will be torn apart by the maurauding Scirea, Conti and Rossi.

In short Italy ’82 are an elegant, sulk inducing squad designed to do one thing… defend like the Devil and win at all costs.

Lets dive in.

The Italy 81/82 squad in full

  • Dino Zoff – Keeper [Positional] & [Breakaway [Tactical]. How do like them apples?
  • Ivana Bordon – Keeper [Positional]. Steady.
  • Antonio Cabrini – Willing Runner [Physical] & Left Cross [Assist]. He’s Here, He’s There, He’s everywhere.
  • Giuseppe Bergomi – Patriot [Loyalty]. Player!
  • Fulvio Collovati – Man Marker [Technical]. Yup, but also very sneaky.
  • Gaetano Scirea – Defence Into Attack [Tactical]. He’s done what and gone where?
  • Claudio Gentile – Patriot [Loyalty]. Player!
  • Gabriele Oriali – Incontrista [Physical]. Wait. What! Why?
  • Gianpiero Marini – Ref! That’s a yellow!
  • Marco Tardelli – Midfield Assassin [Intimidation]. More scars than a surgeon.
  • Giancarlo Antognoni – Curling Delivery [Set Piece]. Ref that’s a red. Top corner.
  • Franco Causio – Tash!
  • Bruno Conti – Commit The Defence [Creative]. Yeah, but I don’t want to!
  • Francesco Graziani – Patriot [Loyalty]. Player!
  • Alessandro Altobelli – Ref! That’s a yellow!
  • Paolo Rossi – Opportunist’s Shot [Intelligence]. Hang on, I wasn’t ready, what!

What’s new?

12 new players, 8 all new game changing skills – including two sulk inducing counter plays and 4 Player updates as follows:

  • “Debut” Antognoni 81/82 vs “Nucleus” Antognoni 81/82: Now turns a “Ref’s call” to a Red or Yellow card, has corrected season stats and boasts a text update. His Curling Free Kick is now a Curling Delivery to encompass the new Set Piece keyword and new Corner rule (See below).
  • “Debut” Bergomi, Gentile and Graziani 81/82 vs “Nucleus” 81/82: Have received a minor text simplification.

New Feature

[[Knock]], [[Hurt]] or [[Injure]]

…is brought to you by the letters “Marco Tardelli” and his “Midfield Assassin [Intimidation]” skill.

As your opponent plays the 1st or 2nd card into an attacking move, if Marco is in your Hand, he may may counter [[Hurt]] this player.

Step 1: Select a random card from your opponent’s Hand.

Step 2: Compare defend ratings. If Marco’s Defend is:

  • = or <     Your attempt to hurt the player has failed.
  • >            Success, you’ve given the player a [[Knock]]
  • +3          Success, you’ve [[Hurt]] the player
  • +4          Success, you’ve [[Injured]] the player
Step 3: Return the selected card to your opponent’s Hand.

Follow the instructions on Marco’s card – The ref will want to talk to the Lino. Did you see what we did there? Yup [[Knock]], [[Hurt]] or [[Injure]] dovetail into the “Ref’s Call” and brings a new dimension to your on field shenanigans.

Impact on targeted player:

  • [[Knock]] = Blank skill box for this play
  • [[Hurt]] = Blank skill box for the game
  • [[Injured]] = Blank skill box + Zero ratings for the game.

Remember Bosses have five substitutes from which they can play three, now might be a good time for your opponent to think about throwing one on. see substitutions.

Note: Players may not exceed their printed ability (unless other cards say otherwise) so a player with [[Hurt]] cannot [[Injure]].

Rule update 2022


When a saved shot doesn’t result in a Freekick (i.e  DEF and ATT  are equal and the subsequent Ref’s call ends in a Yellow or Red card OR a skill awards one – thinking of you Messrs Van Basten and Klinsmann ) then compare the “shooting” cards ATT to the last defender’s DEF. If the ATT is higher, then the attacking team win a corner.

How to take a corner

Bosses take turns, playing one card at a time to build a 2 card attack vs 2 card defence in their center/Set Piece Zone.

Compare ATT vs DEF:

  • If ATT higher = Goal
  • If DEF is higher = Save
  • If equal = The ball is bouncing around. Bosses continue to play their next best ATT or DEF cards and compare their individual ratings until a save is made or goal is scored.


  • Only Set Piece and Corner skills come into effect when taking a corner.
  • Goalkeepers only double teammates DEF in the first, 2 card, phase.
  • Duplicate cards may be played when the ball is bouncing around.
  • Cards are not discarded but placed back into the Boss’s hands, with the exception to players drawn from the Discard Pile. If required shuffle and cut the Discard Pile to resolve the corner. Discard Pile cards are returned to the Discard Pile once the corner has been resolved.

New Keywords 2022:

  • Set Piece – (FK )Free Kick, (CK) Corner Kick, (PK) Penalty Kick
  • Clean Save –  A save that does not result in a set piece

Special “You rock the most-est” award

As Time Vault Soccer grows (Sold in over 32 countries) we are increasingly grateful to a number of Bosses who continue to contribute to your games evolution.

Nigel Scarfe: King of Imagination Gaming, who picked up on the idea of a strategy based football card and continues to run with it in every direction imaginable. All Time Vault Soccer squads have benefited from his creative input. None more so than Italy ’82 which earns him a co-design credit from the TVS team.

Pascal Carcy: King of France (in our book) who continues to inspire the TVS team with a never ending flow of generous ideas, team templates (Incl Italy ’82) and taking it upon himself to translate the TVS rule book into French.

Thank you Gentlemen, the TVS team doff’s it’s collective cloak and twirls it in your general direction.

Time Vault Soccer Boss’s Notes

Boss’s Notes are live – Prog 2 is out now, sign up Here.

By signing up to Boss’s Notes you’ll get advanced notice of new squad and Transfer Centre releases, exclusive offers and pro playing tips straight to your inbox. You’ll get one email every two months. It’s free, no spam. Unsubscribe whenever you want or Scott gets water ballooned*.

So continue to join us in defying the tyranny of modern football and celebrate the great, the good and downright interesting from football past by signing up for your Boss’s Notes now…

Go Retro or go home.

Up next on the Time Vault Soccer Blog:

Covid announcement from 7th July –  Arse. It got us at last. The TVS team are on a go slow between the 6th and 20th July 2022 whilst we generally feel sorry for ourselves. Only Toby remains to sweep the terraces. Normal service will be resumed shortly. Stay well Bosses.

Want to request a team or player to join the Time Vault Soccer universe, then drop Holly a line Here. She may say no, but give it go.

*You can try. Remember I have access to the hose and I know where you live. [Scott]

2 thoughts on “Italy 81/82 a treat for you, not your opponent – What you need to know

  1. Joe says:

    Can confirm that Tardelli is a sulk delivering handfull. Totally on board with what you are doing with this game and already ready for the next instalment. Think we are missing any of great Brazil teams. Recommended.

    • Scott says:

      Hey Big Joe. Thx for the feedback. COVID has knocked the team over the last few weeks so whilst we play catch up keep an eye out for you Boss’s notes for early notice of next teams up to join the TVS universe either through the Transfer Window or as ready made squads. Also any honest review you want to give us on Board Game Geek or any other site would be met with many thumbs up and cheeky grins from this end. Meantime enjoy your Tardelli :).

Biddi-Biddi-Biddi hiya Buck!