Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Getting a kick between kicks

For better or worse, it’s no secret that one of the reasons people enjoy smoking tobacco...
Il Sigaro della Sera
For better or worse, it’s no secret that one of the reasons people enjoy smoking tobacco is because it stimulates and relaxes in equal measure. This can make it especially appealing to people who lead stressful lives. And what could be more stressful than having the hopes and dreams of thousands of spectators right at your feet?
For some Italian soccer heroes, tobacco offers a temporary release from all the pressure. From legendary center-back Alessandro Nesta, A.C.Milan’s Mario Balotelli, Lazio’s (and more recently Manchester United’s) striker Federico Macheda to Gigi Buffon – captain of the Azzurris, the pleasures of tobacco are too hard to resist.
It’s not just the players that feel the pressure. Watching from the sidelines, and calling the shots for a whole team can be even more stressful. So it’s little wonder managers like Carlo Ancelotti, and perhaps most famous of all, Marcello Lippi, manager of the national Italian team, are well-known smokers.
In 2006, after Italy sealed their World Cup victory in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out against, Marcello Lippi was famously pictured enjoying a cigar to celebrate. Along with his silver-rimmed glasses and equally silver hair, cigars have become a trademark accessory for Lippi. The outspoken manager has met with surprise requests to put out his cigar at international games. With Toscano among his favorite brands, Lippi certainly has an eye for craftsmanship and taste for the finer things in life, which along with a taste of victory, are what some might say make life worth living.