GENOA, Italy – I was at some friends’ home when Fabio Grosso freshened up a
muggy summer night in 2006, scoring the penalty goal which lead Italy to winning
the World Cup.
Fans waving Italian flags before the start of a World Cup match in Cape Town,
South Africa between Italy and Paraguay at Green Point Stadium.
I remember hearing a rumbling and an enormous mass of people pouring in the
streets with Italian flags, hugging and screaming.
Beating France, Italy’s the legendary first enemy, to win the World Cup was the
biggest dream of everybody who was a little involved in football, and we finally
Nobody really thought Italy could win but the team managed to pull it off, and
everybody knows that unexpected victories are even more tasty than foreseen
Now, four years later, the summer is not as hot as it was then and neither is
the passion of Italian fans.
A huge controversy against Italy’s coach, Marcello Lippi, is taking place, and
people are betting on Holland or Germany’s victory and even standing against
Italy during matches.
Most people object to the team Lippi has collected, protesting his decision of
not choosing their idols, such as the Sampdoria scorer Antonio Cassano.
Our streets are not as filled with blue shirts as before, and I bet the official
team merchandise isn’t selling well, either.
Is this a negative attitude?
Are we acting defeated?
Maybe we are.
Or maybe people are too busy finding a cheap-but-not-awful place to spend a
little holiday time with their family or looking for a babysitter for their
children while they go to work to spend their energy on something they no longer