Despite his performances and success with Juventus, Tacconi was not able to find much space in the Italian national side under Azeglio Vicini, due to the presence of several other excellent keepers, such as Giovanni Galli initially, and Walter Zenga in particular, and subsequently the emerging keeper Gianluca Pagliuca. As a result, Tacconi was frequently Walter Zenga’s reserve for the Italian national team, and only made 7 appearances for Italy between 1987 and 1991. Tacconi made his senior international debut in a 3–1 win over Argentina on 10 June 1987, in Zürich. In the late 1980s, he was chosen by manager and former goalkeeper Dino Zoff as the starting goalkeeper for the Under-23 Italian Olympic side which reached the semi-finals in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, eventually finishing in fourth place. Tacconi was Zenga’s deputy during Euro 1988, where Italy managed a semi-final finish, and at the 1990 World Cup on home soil, where Italy finished in third place following a semi-final loss on penalties to defending champions Argentina. In total, Tacconi made seven appearances for Italy between 1987 and 1991, all in friendly matches, conceding two goals. He played his final match for Italy on 13 February 1991, keeping a clean sheet in a 0–0 friendly home draw over Belgium, in Terni.