Italian Football…more than just a game!
I don’t think anyone would argue with me if I were to say that in Italy, il calcio (italian football/soccer) is the most popular sport in the country. It’s probably even safe to say that to many football is like a religion.
With the race for the scudetto coming to an end today and in a few weeks time the start of Euro Cup, it seems only fitting to write about my personal connection to the game. Growing up I remember waking up to the sounds of roaring crowds as my dad watched soccer every Saturday and Sunday morning. My father and I were both Juventus fans. If Juventus was playing and he had to work I could always count on a phone call from him asking me to tape the game so he could watch it later on that night.
I experienced my first World Cup in 1982. My father always told me stories of the day when Italy won the World Champions title and me, a young girl barely 4 years old, standing with him out on the street waving my little Italian flag to the passing cars hoping they would honk to show their support and joy for the win. That tradition continued as we all got older. We always tried to watch all of the Italian World Cup soccer games together.
In 2006, I was blessed to have watched every Italy game with my father during World Cup. We were together and celebrated just like we had when I was a little girl. Italy won the title of World Champions that year. I didn’t know then that it would be the last time my father and I would have that. I was really proud of Italy for winning and I’m so happy that my father was around to see it happen.
So, as you can imagine, Soccer has a special place in my heart. The memories it holds for me are pretty special. I’m looking forward to Euro Cup 2008 in the next few weeks because I know my dad will be with me in spirit cheering along for Italy with the passion and heart he always had for the sport he loved so much.
Forza Italia!! 🙂