lunedì 28 ottobre 2013

Giallorosso hurricane. Juve and Napoli do their duty. Lazio, in the name of Klose

Totti: "We have got balls!". Conte: "They are obscuring us". Perin looks like a young Buffon. Klose leaves his mark on Lazio's victory. Bologna and Livorno remember Morosini

Roma are still the beautiful (and lucky) queen that are killing Serie A. Without Totti and Gervinho, the Giallorossi win again. They did it suffering against a good Udinese that got back to lose at home after 22 matches. Luis Muriel, Colombian forward, was overwhelming but the Giallorossi did nit concede any goal. They played in ten men for the entire second half  (red card for Maicon) and achieved the expected result with Michael Bradley, USA midfielder. Supporters crowded Fiumicino Airport. A sanguine Totti wrote on his website: "We have got balls!".

Antonio Conte, Juventus coach, declared: "Giallorossi are obscuring Juve and Napoli too". The Partenopei and the Bianconeri kept on doing their duty beating Torino and Genoa with the same result (2-0) and with controversial refereeing decisions. In San Paolo's match Higuaín scored two penalties. Mertens and Insigne desperately seek a goal, but grow match by match and represent a further surplus value that Benitez will be able to manage brightly. Juve repressed Genoa with Vidal (penalty) and Tévez. The Grifone don't win in Torino against Juve since 1991. Buffon was inactive all along the match. On the other side, Matteo Perin, Genoa goalkeeper, hit the headlines and got a letter of recommendation by Buffon with a great performance.

Fiorentina got the second consecutive victory beating Chievo (1-2). The Viola turned the situation with an uncontrollable Juan Cuadrado, who scored a double. Montella shares the fifth position with Mazzarri's Inter that defeated H. Verona in Saturday night match (4-2).

In the name of Miro. We could not define in another way the fourth victory of Lazio. The Biancocelesti got back to win (2-0 to Cagliari) after one month thanks to Klose, evergreen striker, who, replacing Anderson in the second half, in ten minutes scored with a header and obtained a penalty that Antonio Candreva did not miss. Petkovic and Lazio supporters can smile after a hard period and the poor performance in Europa League against Apollon Nicosia. A healthy Klose, for the Biancocelesti, can be a the best remedy.

A schizophrenic Milan lost at Parma (3-2). Parolo opened the scoring for the Ducali. Cassano doubled the lead. In the second half, Matri and Silvestre equalized. Kakà played a good match but missed the potential 2-3. In 94', again Parolo, with a free-kick, allowed Parma to regain the lead for good.

Other results. Sampdoria won at Marassi after months (1-0 to Atalanta). Bologna and Livorno remember Pier Mario Morosini. The football player who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on the pitch (2012) during Pescara-Livorno, played for Bologna too. The Rossoblu got the first three points of the season (1-0). Livorno lost its fourth consecutive match. Catania, the worst attack in Serie A, and Sassuolo, the worst defense, equalize 0-0.

We must file rapidly this Sunday. The tenth match-day is coming soon. Tomorrow night, Nerazzurri versus Nerazzurri. Inter will visit Atalanta. The big match, on Wednesday, will see Fiorentina face Napoli at Franchi Stadium. Chievo (4 points until now) will visit the Giallorossi at Olimpico. Supporters don't want to stop dreaming.  Rudi Garcia is on the same opinion.

Thanks to our reviewer Noemi Stacconi

sabato 26 ottobre 2013

Calcio seen from Argentina: "Serie A lost its charme"

Pablo Alabarces, Argentinian academy teacher (University of Buenos Aires) specialized in Popular and Mass Culture. He wrote, among others, Football and Patria (2008) Chronicles of aguante and Football, violence and politics (2012).

Do you think Italian soccer has lost its charm after the glory days of Maradona, Platini and Zico in the 80s? What is the European league that you deem more interesting nowadays?

I think so. Italian soccer has lost its charm and attractiveness. For example, the best footballers play in other leagues and its teams aren't great anymore. It gains global attention more for cases like violence or corruption, than for great victories and triumphs (like Maradona's Naples, for example). The Spanish Liga , on the other hand, stands out for other reasons: an unforgettable team like Messi's Barcelona or the multimillionaire Real Madrid that have money to burn: but they don't have much to offer. Personally, I prefer and I give attention to Premier League also because more than just two teams fight for the title.

What's the most-followed league among Argentinians? And why?

I think it's the Spanish one, but I don't have the numbers. Simply because of Messi, but also because many Argentineans play in Liga. Although I don't know if there are more than in Italy, counting Inter and Catania.

You often hear people saying that South American players need to play in European leagues to really prove that they are stars. Do you think this is some sort of “Eurocentrism” or the European stage is still a necessary stepping stone for foreign players to prove themselves?

Yes, it's Eurocentrism, of course. But it's also true: the football players who don't have European experience, we call them "jugadores de cabotaje" (players of domestic flight). But it's an imaginary evaluation. The reality is that playing in in Europe means to earn an higher salary and guarantee the future of two generations of family relatives.

In Europe some big clubs are controlled by foreign investors. Do you think that some of these big tycoons and investors could start expanding their conquers to South America?

No, I don't think so. They invest because they do good business, except those who do it to launder money. South America isn't a good market to earn money with football. Here, you can form and sell players, which is a long-term investment.

In Italy football is often tied to economic and political power (Berlusconi's Milan, Agnelli's Juventus), as a consequence, every issue in soccer turns into a political one. Do you think this happens in Argentinean soccer as well?

Of course, even though it's not because of the relationship with characters of that kind, but for a wider relationship with the political world. Only Mauricio Macri, ex President of Boca Juniors, is similar to Berlusconi but he doesn't get to his level. But the interference of political leaders in football clubs, especially in the smallest ones, is enormous. It is believed that everything that happens in soccer has a political effect: I don't think this is necessarily true, but leaders act like it was, and its appropriation by the state multiplied this effect.

Parochialism is something that is deeply ingrained in Italian culture, and fans sing chants against Naples, Milan, or Rome every Sunday: what do you think about this year's decision to disqualify the groups of fans that sing chants that are defined by the sporting judge as “territorial discrimination?”

It's a big and dangerous nonsense. It means to equalize the presumed territorial discrimination, which is nothing more than historical hatreds and traditional stereotypes, to real discriminations, which is sexual or ethnical ones. In these cases, we can see a relationship of power: among regions, however, there are symmetries or asymmetries that do not produce relations of superiority/inferiority between the real subjects. A Neapolitan can think Northern domination caused political effects, but he doesn't experience this dimension daily. The racist insult, on the other hand, is a daily experience and you must fight it. I think territorial hate, which as far as I know it's huge In Italy, can't be compared to a crime (as far as I know, it isn't). But ethnical discrimination is a crime in Brazil, and in Italy. In Argentina, too. But nobody punishes it...

Thanks to our reviewer Lorenzo Franceschi Bicchierai

lunedì 21 ottobre 2013

Roma without opponents. Rossi crushes Juve. H. Verona up there daydreams

Tévez derides Batistuta, Rossi scores a hat-trick and Conte breaks down. Hellas wins again. Toro-Inter, exciting draw but Mazzarri is furious

The best news of the day for Italian football comes from Rioveggio, suburb around Bologna, where football players of local team - that plays in the lowest level of "amateur" soccer - took the field with black painted faces to say: "No Racism".

But the script of 8th Serie A match-day starts chronologically with a team (AS Roma) acting its symphony N. 8 in a militarized city (the Italian capital), goes on with the return of a great player at San Siro stadium (Kakà), quicken with two football player (Tévez and Pogba) who confronts the legend of a king (Batistuta), a coach in tears (Conte), and  runs out with another one mad who keeps silent (Mazzarri).

Napoli and Juventus, losing the first march of the season, seem to resign themselves to excessive power of Roma. On Friday night match, Benitez's team had to prostrate to Giallorosse troop that still sail on. In front of Diego Armando Maradona, Azzurri hit post three times, but Pjanić scored a double and Roma won 2-0. Fortune favors the bold, but Rudi Garcia must wisely placate enthusiasm around the team and will deal with Totti and Gervinho injuries. He said: "It was a Pyrrhic victory". Supporters live, after mediocre season, their adventure in a wonderland where Roma score in droves and don't concede goal. Furthermore the other face of the city doesn't smile. Lazio lost its third match (2-1 to Atalanta). 11 points in 8 matches for Biancocelesti. Giallorossi fans gloat.

A fair Milan beat Udinese 1-0 thanks the second goal of Birsa. Kakà was hailed by his affectionate public.

Juventus was defeated by an heroic Fiorentina after 15 years, which turned the result scoring four goals in 15 minutes (from 0-2 to 4-2). When stark Bianconeri visit the cradle of the Renaissance, you can't expect a normal game, but a significant duel. Carlos Tévez and Paul Pogba contributed to overheat the match celebrating their goal as Gabriel Batistuta - unforgettable hero of Viola fans - with the mimic of firing a machine gun. Pepito Rossi scored the first hat-trick in his career and Antonio Conte - bianconero born and bred - could not choke back tears. Montella can reintroduce his team in the top end of the table (15 points) where Hellas Verona - the best newly promoted - goes on being at ease. Mandorlini's team, beating Parma 3-2, got its fifth victory and the fourth position (16 points).

In the last match Torino and Inter faced in a fascinating match that smells always of legend. They drew 3-3. New Erik Thohis'r Inter played since 5' of first half (red card for Handanovič). Carrizo, his substitute, saved a Cerci penalty but both him both Padelli didn't have a great evening. Nerazzurri were foretasting the victory when at 90', Nicola Bellomo - young Italian talent - scored his first goal in Serie A with a free-kick into the corner of the net. Mazzarri was furious with the referee and didn't issue a statement.

Sassuolo and Sampdoria got the first win of the season, while Catania fired Rolando Maran and appointed as new coach Luigi De Canio.

venerdì 18 ottobre 2013

Roma-Napoli, "The Derby of the Sun" smells of Scudetto

Rudi Garcia:"Napoli are favourite". Benitez: "We can win". Totti vs Insigne, challenge within a challenge. The Olimpico stadium is militarized. Maradona is in Italy. Will el Pibe de Oro go to the stadium? 

Someone calls it "The Derby of the Sun", others "South Derby". This year let's call it "Derby of the discord" or "Derby of the public order". The attention of all Italian supporters is eventually concentrated on this match that smells of Scudetto, but in the previous days Roma-Napoli was, first of all, a problem of security measures. Today, in Rome, USB trade union will march in the center of the city. But the match will take place unusually on Friday, because tomorrow, NO TAV movement - a group that opposes the high-speed railway network planned to be implemented in the Susa Valley (on Italy-France border) - will demonstrate in the city. Was it impossible to guarantee the right to protest and the regular execution of the match on Saturday?

Meanwhile Aurelio De Laurentiis, Napoli's president and important film producer, announced: "Millions of people around the world will watch the match", AS Roma - which invited to the stadium Diego Armando Maradona - raised in price the tickets of the match. The final result? De Laurentiis will watch the match on Tv from Los Angeles and James Pallotta, the american Roma's President, will be at Olimpico Stadium that will be sadly half-filled. At this moment, 40.000-45.000 supporters (6.000 Neapolitans) have the ticket.

But Roma and Napoli, in this moment, deserve an overcrowded stadium. They are leading the table with Juventus, play a good football, have charismatic coaches and talented players that can give to entire Serie A a match of vertigo. In these first seven matches, Roma didn't miss a shot (21 points). Napoli goofed up on Sassuolo at San Paolo Stadium but for the rest demonstrated balance and strength (19 points). Totti (37) versus Insigne (22) can be the challenge within a challenge, as Garcia versus Benitez. Roma's coach grounded: "We aren't a perfect machine. They are the favorite for this match, but I don't sign up for a draw". The Spaniard doesn't fear Roma and declares: "We can win at Olimpico Stadium too". A stadium that will be militarized by security force.

It's a big pity that Italian football can't live to the best of its history this moment. In the past Roma-Napoli was many times a colored and intense game (two branches of ultras were twins for a long time) beyond the value for league table. And to celebrate this classic match, we have chosen for you some significant Roma – Napoli of the past.

March 19th 1959. The derby of the sun has betrayed his name. Under a heavy rain,  AS Roma, that had lost in Napoli 0-3 the previous November, dreamt their revenge. Roma came from a series of losses and bad results, and the trainer Gunnar Nordhal (yes, the Swedish firefighter) was re-called again on the bench after the quick farewell at the beginning of the season.

Napoli came from the good result of the previous season and his trainer was Amedeo Amadei (the “Fornarino -little baker- of Frascati”) for a long time a flag of Roma. Not only rain falled down for Napoli that day, but 8 balls crossed their goal line. With an hat - trick of Da Costa and 2 goals scored  by “Ray of moon” Selmosson, Napoli suffered his  highest loss in their history in Serie A. Paradoxically, the men of the match was Bugatti, Napoli’s goalkeeper. His name was Ottavio  - that means “eighth” - strange joke of destiny was the comment at the end of the match!  Final score: Roma - Napoli 8-0

Febraury 20th 1983.  This match was like tradition wanted, rich of goals and emotions. It Can be considered the march where AS Roma understood the real possibility of winning his 2nd  Scudetto. In the same day the immediately followers of Roma lost their match (Hellas Verona and Inter). Napoli of Pesaola (that risked the retrocession to serie B) was maybe one of the few teams that created difficulties at the Olimpico of Rome. Ramon Diaz Scored 0-1 for Napoli, and after the temporary tie of Nela, always Diaz  devoured the easy goal of 1-2. As the unwritten law of football wants, Goal-missed means Goal conceded: 2 minutes and Ancelotti said 2-1. From that moment the Liedholm team started his monologue with two goals of unforgettable Captain Di Bartolomei (at his 200th serie A match) and Roberto Pruzzo (with his wife at the hospital for severe bleeding). Final score: Roma  - Napoli 5-2

October 26th 1986. This match represented an ideal passage of “relay baton” between Roma (that was the antagonist to the northern football teams in the early 80s) and Napoli that will dominate the last 80s. The men of the match was Diego Armando Maradona that scored at the beginning of second half the final 0-1. Over 15.000 fans come from Napoli to celebrate the victory in Rome, after 10 years. With this success Napoli reached the first position in league table that will maintain till the end of the season. For his 1st scudetto.

October 25th 1987. A great Napoli, with the Scudetto already on his shirt, at the beginning of the second half was losing 0-1. Incredible. A goal for Roma was scored by the substitute Roberto Pruzzo, at his sunset with the yellow-reds colors. It was the last of the 106 goals scored for Roma. Some players of Napoli lost their control and also an unlucky refereeing reduces the team in 9 (red card for Renica and Careca). At 67’ after a corner of Maradona, the defender Francini between a series of Roma’s players scored the final 1-1, with a perfect header. There was the explosion of over 25.000 Napoli supporters on the bleachers. At the end of the match a midfielder of Napoli, Salvatore Bagni, addressed to Roma’s supporter the “Italian Salute”. This gesture officially broke the 11 years' twinning between the two team's supporters. Monday morning. In the “Bar CIRO” - a small Napoli’s island in Rome province - only these words were repeated aloud, between the silence of the other clients: ”AVIMM’ NOV’ LIONI! NOV’ LIONI!”. In Neapolitan dialect: “We have 9 lions”. That day Olimpico probably seemed Colosseum for Napoli and his supporters. Final score: Roma - Napoli 1-1


mercoledì 16 ottobre 2013

John Foot: Serie A is still the best league to watch

Exclusive interview with the author of "A History of Italian Football", columnist of The Guardian and professor of Italian History at University of London

Professor Foot, how did  you get to love and study Italian soccer?I moved to Milan in 1987 to work on my PhD (world war one in Milan) and I started watching Serie A and going to San Siro. Those were the years of the great Milan team. It was extremely exciting.

Parochialism is something that is deeply ingrained in Italian culture, and fans sing chants against Naples, Milan, or Rome every Sunday: what do you think about this year's decision to disqualify the groups of fans that sing chants that are defined by the sporting judge as “territorial discrimination?”
I don’t think this is particularly helpful, as these chants have been going on for years and nobody has done anything about them. The important battle is the one against racism. The ultra, however, tend to get what they want. If they win this battle they may also undermine the struggle against racism, which has been a big problem for a long time.

The crisis of Italian soccer after the 2000s is self-evident. Yet, Serie A, after the Premier League, according to Unibet's data, is still the most followed league on TV and the one that earns more money from TV rights: do you think Serie A still lives off from its glory days in the 90s or do you see signs of a recovery?
I think things are slowly – very slowly – starting to change. The stadiums are still a big problem, but Juve have started a trend. The football itself is very entertaining and there are lots of good young players and coaches. However, there are still serious structural problems – the ultra, the old stadiums, violence, corruption, match-fixing, conspiracy theorizing. There is a long way to go. Foreign ownership will be interesting, as with Inter.

Do you think it's still possible for a kid from Indonesia or Singapore to fall in love with Italian soccer? What are the aspects that, in your opinion, still make Serie A an interesting league for a foreign audience, especially outside of Europe?
Yes, it is possible. Italian football is the most technical, the most tactical, the place where tactical and technical innovations are tried out time and time again, and also the most passionate and crazy. The best defenders are in Serie A. All of this makes it still the best league to watch. It may not have the most goals, but goals do not make a good football game. But Italian teams need to start winning again in Europe to challenger more on the global front.

How's Italian soccer seen in England?
For years it has been marginalized. It has been difficult to see it on TV. This year, more of the games are available. There has been a globalization of football watching, and I think Italian football is moving out of the ghetto in that sense. There are still stereotypes of course but most people who understand something about football are interested in Serie A.

After two years of Juventus' dominance, do you think the fight this year's title will be more competitive? What are the teams that could break Juventus' dominance?
I assumed that Juve would win easily this year – with Tevez and so on. I am very surprised by Roma. Inter look stronger than last year. Fiorentina are competitive. Juve will still win I think but things are very fluid. I don’t think Roma will be able to keep this up for the whole season but they are playing extraordinary football so far. I predict that the referees will have a say at some point.

Roma's American investors, and now the Indonesian Erick Thohir at Inter: among a lot of diffidence, Italian soccer is opening up to foreign investment too. Is this the road to Italian soccer's revival?
It could be, but this can also create a lot of problems – detachment from history and tradition, short-termism etc. However, if these foreign investors can overcome the problems in the system and also the issue with the stadiums, I think they will have an important impact. Italian football desparetly needs to compete financially. It is way behind Germany, Spain and the Premiership in this sense at the moment.

From  Ravanelli, Vialli and Zola, to Balotelli and today, Giaccherini. And the coaches, De Canio, Ancelotti, Mancini and Capello as manager of a national team. How did Italian players and coaches contribute to the Premier League?
For a time we were so lucky, as all the fantasisti came to the Premiership (after being squeezed out be excessive pressing games in Italy) – Zola above all, who was fantastic. I think the Italian players brought high technical levels of skill and the managers had high levels of tactical sophistication. It’s a shame Capello left before the European championships. He should have seen the job through. Balotelli was huge in media terms, and he won a championship, but he was unhappy and this showed on the field. Ancelotti was very harshly treated, as was Mancini. Di Canio simply wasn’t ready for a big club.

lunedì 14 ottobre 2013

Graziano Pellè, is the hero of Rotterdam ready for Barça?

The Italian Stallion scored 37 goals in 38 matches with Feyenoord. Ronald dotes on him, but Barcelona is looking for a classic forward

It is said a football player reaches full maturity around 28 years old. Until that moment, he can show his talent, his aptitudes and at the same time he can't keep up with his potentiality. Many elements can influence in his career. An injury, poor confidence from own coaches, strategies that don't enhance own characteristics, no affinity with supporters, no incentive to personal improvement. Goodness knows what happened to Graziano Pellè, Italian striker who plays for Feyenoord.

He was born 28 years ago in San Cesario di Lecce, a small town in the "heel" of the Italian "boot". That is a land of sun, sea and wind. Nothing to do with the maritime climate of South Holland. But the breeze of North Sea welcomed him in the best possible way. And now Graziano Pellè is "the hero of Rotterdam".

In his early career in Serie B (Lecce, Catania, Cesena, Crotone), his personal top scoring was 10 goals with Cesena. In Eredivisie, he already played for AZ Alkmaar, scoring 14 goals in 78 matches (2007-2011). In Serie A (Parma and Sampdoria) he played a fistful of matches, scoring totally 5 goals. Since August 2012, Pellè sprouted, scored 37 goals in 38 matches. He became the captain of Feyenoord. Ronald Koeman, manager of The Stadiumclub, dotes on Italian striker and wants to keep him  to himself.

Between Feyenoord supporters, "you can see more and more men with a retro hair look. The latest fashion is called «the schoolboy separation», the style of Graziano Pellè. Even some celebrities have fallen for the so-called separation school boy".  On Youtube, you can find some tutorials to have his hair cut. Any sunday, on twitter, the hash tag trend is: #SundayIsPelleDay. The Italian Stallion appeared also in a commercial outside for Eredivisie Live.

Gerardo Martino, Barcelona's coach, is looking for a classic forward. Pellè seems to be one of candidates along with Miro Klose, Roque Santa Cruz, David Trezeguet, Óscar Cardozo. They are more experienced, but they aren't as young as the Italian striker. Pellè can be a long term investment for Blaugrana.    

In the meantime, Italian media wonder: Will Cesare Prandelli call him for Brazil's World Cup? Pellè already represented the Azzurri at U20 and U21 level. He has no experience with First National Team. But his characteristics remembers Luca Toni's one, world champion in Germany 2006. Toni is another football player who had his best season in the second part of his career. Because, sometimes we have to let time run its course.

Thanks to our reviewer Noemi Stacconi


giovedì 10 ottobre 2013

Roma seven beauties, Napoli and Juventus don't give up

Francesco sends a message to Prandelli. Juve and Napoli win again. Milan and Inter ko. Cassano rules Parma to the victory. Iturbe, the ace in the hole of H. Verona

Seven are the hills of Rome. Seven were the kings of the Eternal city. Seven are the deadly sins. And seven are the consecutive victories of Roma in these first seven Serie A matches. Rudi Garcia molded a perfect war machine. The Giallorossi don't want to stop now. They dance like valkiries on the bodies of the opposite teams. Inter of Walter Mazzarri were the last demolished victim. Pjanić, Strootman and De Rossi probably compose the best midfield in Italy. Gervinho and Florenzi seem sons of the wind. De Sanctis is insormountable.

Totti - who scored twice against Inter - grows day by day. He is a young 37 years old that would like to play again a World Cup. Brazil, the land of football, would welcome the best Italian scoring active player in Serie A. Mister Prandelli, what about Francesco? Meanwhile, Rome fans dream of an unprecedented season. In the next match, they want to listen to Symphony N. 8 but will have to deal with Rafa Benitez and his Napoli that won again.

Partenopei beat 4-0 a willing Livorno. Pandev, Inler, Callejón and Hamšík are day's heroes that make supporters smile. Benitez's team demonstrated again strength in a delicate phase. Napoli lost to Arsenal in last Champions League match, Higuaín was still unavailable and in last home match, Napoli drew with Sassuolo. This victory is a cure-all for the city and for the society in view of next match against Giallorossi. The Derby of the Sun smells of Scudetto.

Napoli share second position with Juventus that won against Milan (3-2). Muntari scored twice, for Juventus Pirlo, Giovinco and Chiellini. In a stormy week for Italian government, Antonio Conte spoke as a shaky First Minister. "The enemy wants to destabilize us", he said. Juventus aren't anymore the perfect clockwork we knew in the previous two seasons, but Bianconeri don't miss a shot.

After seven match-days, the table seems to reflect qualities and values of the entire Serie A.

Nobody can stop Roma. Napoli and Juventus suffer from Champions League matches but Scudetto looks their first aim, Inter reconquered self confidence. Hellas Verona (fifth position) are a competitive group, a good mix between experienced players and young talents. If Luca Toni is a tested striker, Iturbe started sending messages to Lionel Messi. He scored his second goal against Bologna and Verona won at Dall'Ara Stadium 4-1. Fiorentina and Lazio don't stand out, Milan are synonymous of an unmanageable and confused group. Udinese, Torino, Parma and Atalanta head towards a respectable season.

In lower positions, Catania, Sampdoria and Bologna freak their supporters.

Thanks to our reviewer Noemi Stacconi

sabato 5 ottobre 2013

Italians who hate Italians

Sport justice obliged Milan to play last home match in a San Siro partially closed for discriminatory chants against Napoli. An umpteenth case of interregional racism, old Italian tradition

Last Saturday, Milan faced Sampdoria in a San Siro Stadium partially closed. A sport judge decision obliged Rossoneri to play one game with an area of the stadium "free from fans after some of their followers expressed an insulting, explicit and discriminatory chant towards an opposition player based on his origins". The "opposition player" in question was SSC Napoli, the main Italian southern team. Against Sampdoria, the "second ring-blue area" - the so-called Curva Sud - was deserted. Milan supporters wrote a public announcement as if they were a political association, denouncing "the denial of every rights" and recalling a legendary age of cheer, when football was free from the slavery of TV broadcasters. Then they met around the stadium to protest against sport justice and to reaffirm at the top of their voice their thought. A simple philosophy theorized by supporters of a northern team against a southern one. You can find there a mixture of common places that describe Napoli as a smelly city but you can find also a "hope message". "Wash them with the fire, Vesuvius, wash them with the fire", they proudly sang.  

Obviously, a sportive question in Italy is always a political one too. In this distressing history, a politician of Lega Nord (regionalist political party), used the occasion to declare: "This decision is a bullshit. And what about Neapolitans that dream of a burning Milan? I'm ready to climb over the wall of San Siro, to set foot on closed sector and to make a report against myself". No action followed his thought. His aim was to conquer a further space of media visibility.

In these last years, Italy is going to become a real multicultural society. Also if Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy, Angelo Ogbonna are "the new Italians" who will play next Fifa World Cup, its football keeps on suffering from racism episodes for racial questions (Zoro, the same Balotelli, Boateng, etc.). The last case of San Siro remembers us how - historically - Italian football knew racism episodes for regional and local questions too. Beyond city and local derbies, other rivalries exist between northern and southern teams, reproducing - in football context - economical and political diatribes. For example, in the period of economic miracle (1960s), thousands of southern people moved to northern cities to work in their big industries. In Turin - the city of Juventus and Torino FC - native population exhibited the sign: "We do not rent to southern". This housing question is still an open wound in Italian social fabric. And it's not a case if last year, "State broadcaster RAI fired a journalist from its regional news service in Piedmont for a report judged offensive to Neapolitans before match between Juventus and Napoli. The report featured a clip of Juve supporters singing a chant telling Neapolitans to wash". 

We can list many cases of interregional racism (Milan vs Roma, Milan vs Genoa, Verona vs Catania, Vicenza vs Reggina etc.). Napoli, in any case, is the easy mark of northern supporters, a sort of national scapegoat usually tagged as "dirty, stinking, choleraic". In 1985 at Bentegodi Stadium, Hellas Verona's supporters even wrote "Welcome to Italy" to Neapolitan ones that, some years later, took their revenge, breaking the legend of Shakespeare  with an ironical "Giulietta is a bitch and Romeo is a cuckold".     

In years, sociologists, historians, journalists, politicians, intellectuals discussed about these questions that grow dangerously day by day. We ask ourselves: "Can we take seriously a stadium chant?". "How much is it important the concept of context in these cases?". "Can we downsize these facts?". "Must media give highlight the contemptible feats of minority groups?". Some years ago, Gianni Mura, important sport journalist of La Repubblica, wrote: "To define these fans ignorant or stupid is reductive. They are proudly racist". Can these words be a starting point? We are sure to beat your enemy, you must know it.

Thanks to our reviewer Noemi Stacconi

Thanks to Antonio Tortolano for the cooperation