As a long time “soccer watcher” I have a little theory — it is, in fact, a composite of many little discussions on Euro soccer with my friends —and it starts with infamous game of 1982 WC Italy vs. Brazil. The theory goes from the fact that it was one of the best Brazil selections ever put together with such a flare and beauty, a game of soccer geniuses with physical readiness unmatched. Needless to say it was an absolute fun to watch Brazil play. That team was met by a team that is a representative of the style of game that tries to dumb it down, keep the ball away from action, players that are trained to be dirty, players that come from soccer culture where diving, rolling on the grass “in pain” and whining to the referee was an integral part of growing up. Just for reference go back to the times of K.H. Rumenige and watch this guy, every time he is fouled and ends up on the grass he would be back on his feet within a second. Then compare to say, Paolo Rossi or del Piero or Ronaldo. It’s funny and sad at the same time. Anyways…
From that time you can go all the way to today and find evidence that besides Italy, you also have Spain and Portugal in the same boat. On the side of a more ‘watchable’ soccer, a soccer without drama, besides Brazil, you have Germany and Netherlands. France is interesting because it fluctuates between flavours of each depending on the generation.
Therefore, teams like I, S and P play extremely boring games that usually result in 0:0 when they play against each other and 1:0 when they play the more interesting teams. So, they usually win because it is easier for them to dumb the game down than to have them to accept other soccer style. So it seems that when Germany plays Italy they have a difficulty matching them in the style that presents itself.
So, really, this is not an answer per se but it’s interesting to notice that in Euro 2008 final game Germany lost to Spain 0:1 and earlier, Spain and Italy played 0:0. Also, memorable boring game was 2010 WC final game that Spain won 1:0 over Netherlands; earlier, they won over Germany with same score. All these games I watched and they were boring to death - I mean, darn it. On the other, one of best games I ever watched was 2002 WC final between Brazil and Germany (incidentally, this was the only ever WC meet between the two). The gold standard of team play.
Of course, there are results that disprove the theory but still.