Amo Il Calcio Italiano


Ok my first vivid football memory was Italia 90′. At that time I then started following Italian football. I remember the Germans of Inter (Klinsmann, Matthaus & Brehme) vs AC Milans Dutch imports (Van Basten, Gullit & Rijkaard). There was the Juventus team that swept all before them with a front line of Vialli, Ravanelli & Baggio! Then there has been so many more world class players I have seen grace Serie A pitches like Maldini, Ronaldo, Zidane, Veron, Weah, Nedved, Pirlo, Boban, Zamarano, Sosa, Baresi… The list is endless!

Growing up on a Saturday morning before playing football I watched Football Italia, seeing the highlights from the previous round of fixtures. Then being transfixed watching James Richardson sit outside an Italian Cafe in the sun, pigeons surrounding him, an Espresso & large multi-flavoured ice-cream on his table as he held up a pristine Pink ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’ telling me who was off to where. I was so chuffed when at 15 I went to the continent & purchased my own paper!

Now the problem was Channel 4 decided to drop Football Italia! How dare they! Well there has been a fair few homes for it since & the EPL & La Liga got stronger, plus my first love will always be for the SPL. So by the time it got to ESPN I decided to give it up, still looked out for transfers & watched the Italian sides in Europe but it was not the same!

Then in the last month on Twitter, a few people (They know who they are) really re-ignited my passion to watch Italian football & I was not disappointed. I have seen Palermo thump Sampdoria in an end to end game, then seen Samp come back from one down to beat Roma 2-1 in a tasy encounter. Then I saw Juventus beat Catania 2-0 in the Coppa Italia, while not the most entertaining of games, it certainly lacked atmosphere, the star turn Alessandro Del Piero rolled back the years & gave a masterclass!

These games & the highlights packages have brought new players like Hernanes, Pastore, Krasic & Cavani to my attention…. It seems to have taken me back in time to when I spotted future stars for the 1st time.

People say Italian football is negative but so far the EPL has been very disappointing this season & apart from the El Classico where we were spoiled with an amazing game, La Liga has not been so bright but in the last few weeks I have fallen in love with one of my first loves…

Thank you Serie A.

Still miss James Richardson outside that cafe though & can’t find a pink Palermo strip anywhere!


7 Responses to “Amo Il Calcio Italiano”

  1. Think it’s really nice you’ve rediscovered youe love of Serie A.
    Maybe we could go on a trip to Palermo next year. But for now I think you should take a certain ragazza out for a cappuchino

  2. A trip to Palermo would be great.

    Need to find that ragazza 1st.

  3. Don’t know if you’re aware, but ACJimbo’s paper Review is now on the Guardian every week;

    OK,we’ve not got the funds to fly out to Italy, but at least we’ve got pink papers!

    (Oh, and it’s embeddable, as well!)

  4. Thats great Matt thanks will read every week now!

  5. […] past week, blog posts by Scott Johnston (here) and Andrew Gibney (here) have highlighted what has for some time been evident in the various […]

  6. It’s awesome read some words like these about Italian soccer, from a non-Italian person. Especially at a time when Italian commentators say that Calcio is despised outside of the peninsula.
    Really pleased to have met you!

  7. […] ‘Gazzetta della COPA‘ shirt harks back to my childhood. I wrote about my love for Calcio¬†back in 2011. A lot is down to this pink paper and a certain Channel 4 programme from the 90s […]

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