How to Be an Italian Football Fan

If you are interested in football and have recently discovered the awesomeness that is being an Italian fan, I have some tips for you. No it does not take anything particularly amazing in order to be an Italian football fan, but if you want to fit in at sports bars and sound like you know what you are talking about, this is for you.

Let’s start with Italian…

So you need to start out with learning a few Italian words. While ESPN will of course have an English announcer, if you want to read updates or stream it online, it would be good to pick up some important football related Italian words. Here are the most important ones.

article-0-02B0114C0000044D-243_634x428Arbitro– Referee

Attaccante  – Striker

Calcio d’angolo – Corner kick

Calcio di punizione – Free kick

Calcio di rigore – Penalty shoot-out

Capitano– Captain

Centrocampo – Midfield

Difensore– Defender

Fuori gioco– Offside

Tempo supplementare – Extra time

Football is an Italian Religion

tmp507948475783053313Where you may think that Catholicism is the key religion in Italy, you are missing out how important football is to Italians. It really is treated like its own religion. Families gather to enjoy it, friends meet up to watch together, and it is all kind of like having a religious mass. Even a cardinal in Italy said “football is the religion of Italy.” The people are dedicated to practicing it and believing in it. They spend Sundays watching it together, just like going to mass.

At the same time, it can be an extreme and violent religion. Like other Europeans, the Italians are passionate people. Whether they are pushing for social movements or they are pushing for their favorite Italian football club, sometimes the Italians get out of hand. There are not political assassinations anymore in the country, instead there are headlines like “Roman fan kills Lazio supporter with flare gun.” I’m not kidding, they get way out of hand when it comes to football.

You need to Treat Italian Footballers like Move Stars…because they are!

francesco-totti-roma-lazio-serie-a-11012015_d6tw95talg411qmdpbq8iyk1rBe prepared to worship the Italian football stars like you would any kind of important celebrity in the world. They are stalked by the paparazzi, interviewed on television, and kids everywhere dress up just like them and pretend to be them. Just like if you saw Brad Pitt walking down the street, Italian football players are beloved and followed by their dedicated fans. If you are going to be a real fan, you need to be prepared to be enthusiastic about that as well.

But the captain of the team is treated less like a movie star and more like some kind of feudalist king. People do not cheer for the opposing team. Take note of that or you will need to be prepared to be pummeled. The fans follow the lead of the captain and the other players follow his orders like he was a military leader. It can be intense, so just know what you are getting yourself into before you dive head in.

Critical Football Games happen nearly daily

If you want to follow what is happening with football all over the country, you will need to be prepared to watch a lot of football and read a lot of recaps. During the peak season, it will begin to feel like there is some crucial game happening every night. And it really does happen all year as well. While there is an off-season, during the off-season there will be other clubs playing in order to fill in the need to watch football all the time. The biggest clubs are in the Serie A league though which also has the best players who make the most money.

Bottom line: you need to be ready to be excited about football and dive headfirst into fandom.

7 Things you need to know about the Italian Football League

If you are just getting into Italian football, I have all of the facts that you need to get yourself started into it. Italy has been one of the premiere footballer nations of the world and with the newly formed Italian Football League, they are still going on strong. But if you are just getting started, you may not realize what is important about the IFL right away and I am here to change that. So here is what you need to know to become a world-class Italian Football League fan.

  1. Juventus Football Club is awesome. The club was formed way back in 1897 and has been awesome since then. They hold the record for having one more championships than any other Italian football team and is clearly the best club in all of Italy and is considered to be the second-best European football club.juve-tifosi
  2. The Italian national football team has won the FIFA World Cup four times, only barely trailing behind Brazil who has won it five times. For the newbies out there, the FIFA World Cup only happens once every four years and was only started in 1930. So having won it four times is actually a big feat.
  3. Serie A is one of the most popular football leagues and even one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the entire world. It is considered as the most tactical national football league. Serie A has won 48 major European trophies. Included in Serie A is Juventus, Milan, and Inter.
  4. Football, or soccer as it is known in the United States, has been proven to have been played in Italy since ancient times, especially during the height of the Roman Empire. Because of the span of the Roman Empire, football was spread all over Europe. It has been so popular in Italy for so many centuries that even famous Italian families of history are known to have played, including the Medici family and Popes, who even played football in the Vatican.
  5. The national football team is called Gli Azzurri, which is in reference to the traditional colors of the Italian national teams and any players who are representing Italy. The blue that is referenced in “Azzurri” became a enhanced-10807-1401213461-1national color after the royal dynasty that brought Italy together during the 19th century, since that was the family’s color.
  6. Luigi Riva is currently the Italian Football Federation’s best-scoring player of all time. He was undoubtedly the best forward of his generation and the greatest Italian striker of all time. He was known for his power, speed, as well as his composure under pressure. He was nicknamed “Rombo di Tuono” which translates to mean “Roar of Thunder” in English. He was a force to be reckoned with .While he retired from playing professionally in 1974, he was the team manager for the Italian national team from 1990 until 2013.
  7. The training grounds for the FIGC headquarters are in Coverciano, Florence. Because it is a national league, games are played throughout the entire country and no matter what city it is in, they are considered home matches since they are all in Italy.

The most important thing to remember that while Brazil gets a lot of attention as being the best team in the world, and I am not going to argue that they are in fact a great team, Italy’s history is much longer and more impressive. It shows that they have amazing staying power that we do not know that Brazil really has.