|Football, as we Europeans righfully call it because we invented it before
the Americans and their football (as you know they call ours "soccer" in North
America), is a very tactical, geometrical, imaginative, unforeseeable sport. In Italy it
is considered also a game ("gioco del calcio", "the nicest game on
earth" the Italians say). You need technical qualities, often inborn, but also a lot
of imagination, and great tactical qualities to play it. You need to be instinctive but
also rational. The Latin, who generally are the best in the world, simply love to play and
touch the ball, and privilege class above anything else.
Ronaldo, playing for International (Milan's team)
Football is also a very intriguing and
thrilling game. There are many variables influencing the game, even before it is played
(long debates on who should play, depending on the technical and human qualities). The
result can change at any time. Infinite situations can happen. Scoring a goal can be at
times very easy, and in other situations next to impossible. A little episode can change
everything. You can be winning 1-0 and dominating, and because of next-to-nothing
situations you can find yourself losing miserably 1-3. Or you can lose 1-0, attack all the
time and hit the bar twice, see your next-to-impossible-to-miss point saved on the line,
and possibly score because of a miraculous rebound. Because scoring a point is very hard
you feel in heaven once you do it. The quality of football is also not measured by the
quantity of points scored, although this is an important factor.
Nobody is sure to win against. Brazil in the '96 Olympics in Atlanta
lost with Japan 0-1: the Brazilians missed 10 points that seemed "already done",
while the Japanese would not score another time in a millenium the goal they made in a
next to miraculous sequence of rebounds. In last year's Champion League in Europe, Bayern
Munich was winning 1-0 with Manchester United. The German team dominated the match, and
hit twice the post. Then in the two extra-time minutes the referee conceded, a formality
in which nothing changes usually, the Germans lost concentration and the English scored
tying up. The Germans demoralized and in a few seconds Manchester United scored again
winning the final.
In football in fact "the ball is round" as we say: anything can happen, and
matches are always different.
|Football is also played with very different styles and cultures, or
"schools" as the Italians call them, around the world, and this generates
interest. For all these reasons it is the most popular sport in the world. People take it
as life: creative, rational and irrational at the same time...you never know what's going
to happen. Then if you just begin playing it when you are a child, you are taken by it for
life. It can become a fever, and that is why supporters are normally called in Italian
"tifosi", literally "typhus patients" (!). The world cup every four
year is practically a psychodrama for billions around the globe. In many countries
(including Italy) football is practically the... second official religion (together with
still of International
You might think that this was the greatest contribution of Europeans to worldwide
stupidity, but that's the way it is. The Europeans consider it also a social event
generating popular and poetic memories.
We wrote this to make you understand why people out of the US like (i.e. 97.5% of the
world population) this sport so much. Americans like games with numbers and situations
changing fast. For the rest of the world it is the plot, the play, style and class,
situations changing in a state-of-the-art fashion which really matter.
|Rome has two important clubs: Roma and Lazio. Roma has yellow
and red shirts (the traditional colours of Rome, and a she-wolf as symbol - naturally...).
Lazio has light blue shirts and an eagle as symbol. They both play at the Olympic stadium,
the largest Italian stadium and one of Europe's most renowned. There is an untreatable
rivalry between the fans of the two teams. The most known and popular Italian teams are
though all of Northern Italy: Juventus (Turin), Milan and Inter (both of Milan). In fact
they have always been successful teams, while the achievements of Roma and Lazio, although
they are old teams too, are quite recent.
Click here for a link reporting the results
of the football matches in Italy, and in general a complete coverage of the activities,
facts, and the lastest news.
Francesco Totti, of
TO ROME GUIDE