Italy Lost, But Life Goes On
by Victoria Cohen, Brian Garcia, Stephanie Garcia, Kristen Gioscia, & Riannon Maki
Italy’s soccer traditions proved to be unlucky against Uruguay, after a one-point loss in the first round of the 2014 World Cup. Yet, the Italians’ love for soccer overshadows the defeat. The World Cup takes place every four years. This is the time when Italians, who primarily identify with their regions, come together as one nation. Benito Pinto, a 17-year-old Milan resident explained that his friends “root for another team but when Italy plays [they] come together.” The high school classmates even share a tradition about displaying their national support.“We don’t show our flags before the game. It isn’t lucky,” Pinto said. The Italian World Cup team, known as the Azzurri, is comprised of players from around the country. The map below shows the 20 Serie A (major league) teams and their hometowns. Celestina Ielmoni, a Milan native, said the World Cup has a unique way of uniting Italians. “When we cheer for Italy as a nation, it’s different. It’s stronger than rooting for smaller Italian teams. It’s one nation against another nation,” she observed. Gigi Donelli, Editor-In-Chief of Radio24, said the World Cup is the perfect moment to celebrate with fellow Italians. “People will probably meet up with friends for dinner after the game,” Donelli said. “[Italians] like tradition. Nowadays, people are sharing parties after the game.” For some countries, it may be all about the triumph. For Italians, the World Cup serves as a tradition for coming together and celebrating Italian pride, win or lose.
When the game ended and Italy’s loss was evident, most of the crowd quietly dispersed under the awnings of the restaurants, in an attempt to stay out of the rain. Other fans squeezed into packed restaurants, eager to escape the downpour and eat.