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!! 🙂

  1. The Countdown to FIFA World Cup 2010 « Calabrisella Mia

    April 5, 2010 at 7:45 am

    […] mentioned in previous posts my love for calcio and the special connection and memories I have to it.  Growing up, the World Cup was always an exciting time and many a game was watched with my dad.  […]

  2. LuLu

    June 17, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Toni – I know A LOT of women who love il calcio! Thanks for stopping in and reading! I’m sure there will be more posts about my love affair with Italian football 😛

  3. toni

    June 13, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Its great that women love football as well …. i hope i find a wife some day who will love it just as much as i do =)

    Anyway, cool story

  4. Liz

    May 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    It really is like a religion. My boyfriend is a die-hard Inter Milan fan and he is so thrilled that they just won the Scudetto. He was so nervous before, he’s scaramantico! I also grew up watching soccer games, but from Mexico, where my parents are from. My Dad played on a league. I was in Mexico in 1986, when the World Cup was held there. Good times, good times. How wonderful it must have been for you to watch Italy win the World Cup with your Father before he passed.

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