Forza Italia: The Fall and Rise of Italian Football

Forza Italia: The Fall and Rise of Italian Football

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by Paddy Agnew
     
 

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When journalist Paddy Agnew and his girlfriend Dympna touched down in Rome in 1985 in search of adventure, sunshine and the soul of Italian football (well, Paddy was looking for that), they were travelling into the uncharted terrain of a country they did not know and a language they did not speak.

It soon became clear that neither Italy nor Italian football

Overview

When journalist Paddy Agnew and his girlfriend Dympna touched down in Rome in 1985 in search of adventure, sunshine and the soul of Italian football (well, Paddy was looking for that), they were travelling into the uncharted terrain of a country they did not know and a language they did not speak.

It soon became clear that neither Italy nor Italian football would be boring. In that first week in Italy, Michel Platini and Juventus won the Intercontinental Cup, whilst just days later the PLO killed 13 people in a random shooting at Rome's Fiumicino airport. Paddy covered both stories. The coming years saw the rise of TV tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, as he became owner of AC Milan and then Prime Minister of Italy, naming his political party 'Forza Italia' after a football chant. In that same period, Argentine Diego Maradona became the uncrowned King of Naples, leading Napoli to a first ever Scudetto title in 1987, notwithstanding a hectic, Hollywood-esque lifestyle that mixed footballing genius with off-the-field excess.

Forza Italia is a fascinating tale of inspired players, skilled coaches, rich tycoons, glitzy media coverage, Mafia corruption, allegations of drug taking and fan power - culminating in the 2006 World Cup victory that delighted a nation and a match-fixing scandal that shocked the world. It is also a personalised reflection on the consistent and continuing excellence of Italian football throughout a period of huge social, political and economic upheaval, offering a unique insight into a society where football has always been much more than just a game.


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In 1985, Agnew and his girlfriend left their home and jobs in Ireland in search of adventure in a warmer clime. They settled in Italy, where she got a steady job teaching and he followed his dream of covering Italian football. Part memoir, part sports commentary, part political and cultural observations, these pedestrian fan's notes record the exciting and the sordid world of Italian football, including its relatively recent glory days of the 1990s. As he observes, football in Italy is currently undergoing a crisis, ranging from financial meltdown to match fixing and drug scandals, that reflects the wider political and social crisis afflicting the country. For example, Agnew chronicles the life of Diego Armando Maradona in the 1980s, one of Italy's greatest footballers of all time, whose penchant for drugs, sex and the fast life ruined his career. In spite of Maradona's shortcomings and eventual arrest on drug possession charges, Italians stood by their footballer, demonstrating just how strongly football is embedded in Italian culture. Agnew waxes poetic in his admiration for the game, concluding that it brings together the creative genius of Da Vinci, the fun of the carnavale and the elements of commedia dell'arte. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781448117642
Publisher:
Ebury Publishing
Publication date:
02/29/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Paddy Agnew has been Rome correspondent for the Irish Times since 1986. Since 1991, he has been a match commentator on Italian football for state broadcaster RAI whilst over the last 20 years he has covered Italian football for ESPN TV, BBC World Service radio, Reuters, World Soccer magazine and many other news organisations. He lives near Rome with his wife Dympna and teenage daughter Róisín.

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Forza Italia: The Fall and Rise of Italian Football 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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