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Football facts: 6 things you must know about Italy

Italians take football very seriously, and they definitely have the track record to prove it. Feel like you don’t know that much about the team in blue? No worries, we have your back – these six facts will have you up to speed with one of the greatest football teams in the world, and yes, my personal favorite.

1. The ‘Gli Azzurri’

Italy’s team color is blue (azzurro in Italian), dating back to the association of the color blue with the royal dynasty that unified Italy in 1861. One of the most common chants by Italian fans is Forza Azzurri that directly translates to blue power.

2. Our stars

They’re talented, and they have style.

Matteo Darmian – Position: Defender, Team: Manchester United

Gigi Buffon – Position: Goalkeeper, Team: Juventus Turin

Alessandro Florenzi – Position: Midfielder, Team: AS Roma

Citadin Martins Eder – Position: Striker, Team: Inter Milan

Giorgio Chiellini – Position: Defender, Team: Juventus Turin

Daniele De Rossi – Position: Midfielder, Team: AS Roma

3. Football vocab “in Italiano”

If you’re watching the games in Italy or with a couple of passionate Italian fans, you should know how to talk the (Italian) football talk:

Fuori gioco– Offside

Centrocampo – Midfield

Attaccante – Striker

Difensore– Defender

Capitano– Captain

Arbitro– Referee

Calcio di rigore – Penalty shoot-out

Tempo supplementare – Extra time

Calcio di punizione – Free kick

Calcio d’angolo – Corner kick

4. Football, friends and food

Football games are just another reason for Italians to get together with friends and family and enjoy some fabulous food: cold pasta, salads or even just a takeaway pizza. A lot of people do this at home, but restaurants and bars around the country also set up huge screens so bigger groups can watch and cheer together.

5. Join the blue choirs

Po-po-popopo-popo“: A remake of the song Seven Nation Army by the White Stripe. It became a big hit during the 2006 World Cup in Germany and is still one of the most popular songs sung by Italian fans.

Fratelli d’Italia, l’Italia s’è desta, Dell’elmo di Scipio, S’è cinta la testa...“: The Italian national anthem since 1946 is still a classic tune among fans.

I-ta-lia, I-ta-lia, I-ta-lia…”: The simple mantra for all of us fans and often heard on the pitch.

6. And dance until dawn

Whenever the national team plays, Italians are hoping to celebrate to the sound of car horns, singing and dancing on the streets. If all goes well for the boys in blue, expect Italy to be filled with street parties with everyone dressed in blue or green, white and red – the colors of our beloved flag!

Image by Steve lyon Flickr / Creative Commons

Explore Italy beyond football Learn More

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