Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

A passion for kicks

With a reputation for passion and competitiveness, it will come as no surprise that Italians love their sport. Referred to as ‘gioco del calcio’ – the nicest game on Earth, football (soccer) is the number one sport in the land and the Italians take it very seriously.

Sunday is one of the biggest match days, when women all over the country who aren’t football fans look forward to an afternoon of peace and quiet. It’s something referred to in the famous 1962 Rita Pavone song “La partita di pallone’, when she laments "Sunday you always leave me alone, just to go see the football game". Even a lack of visuals doesn’t stop people following the game and TV stations without broadcasting rights still offer live commentary watched my millions.

Historically, many Italian teams are thought to play a consistent style, relying on one or two hero players to lead the team to glory and the winner is usually obvious long before the game ends. But as more and more Italian players transfer to the UKs Premiere League, where victory isn’t confirmed until the final whistle, Italian playing styles are changing, not least of all because the large families that own many of the clubs don’t have as much money to invest in star players as they used to, making the role of teamwork more important than ever. But however it’s played, the Italian passion for football seems never-ending, as the thousands of silver football charm bracelets worn around the country are testament to.