Valcareggi is widely remembered for his success as a coach, in particular with Italy national team. Under Valcareggi, Italy lost only six games in eight years. Valcareggi is also remembered for devising the infamous "staffetta" match strategy during the 1970 World Cup. Due to his focus on defensive stability, as well as the presence of two pure, prolific goalscoring strikers, Riva and Bonisegna, Valcareggi felt that it would not be possible to field Italy's two most revered advanced playmakers at the time, Gianni Rivera and Sandro Mazzola alongside each other. He believed the two creative players to be incompatible with each other, due to the rivalrdy between their respective clubs, and as he felt that deploying both players alongside the forwards would offset the balance within the starting line-up, in particular as Rivera, unlike Mazzola, was not renowned for his athleticism or defensive work-rate. He therefore conceived the plan, which essentially consisted of Mazzola playing the first half of each match, whilst Rivera would play the second half. Despite Italy's victory at the 1968 European Championship and their second-place finish at the 1970 World Cup, the tactic was widely criticised by the media, in particular due to Italy's negative performance during the group-stage and in the final defeat to Brazil, despite demonstrating their ability to successfully apply a more offensive, exciting style of play with Rivera in the semi-final against West Germany. The two players only played together briefly in the final, when Rivera came on for Bonisegna for the last six minutes of the match.