The Beautiful Game - Calcio Fiorentino
Forget the World Cup Try Calcio Storico
Corporate sponsors of the World Cup in Brazil next year are already making their associations known. The 'Inspiration' logo for the tournament - very uninspiring - can already be seen on the labels of international brands, emphasising the globalised, money-oriented nature of the modern game. In June 2014, the games will begin. Multi-millionaire players will feign attachment to the country of their birth whilst putting themselves in the shop window to encourage another bloated transfer deal to a Premier League club. With a samba soundtrack, commentators will try and build drama.
If all this sounds like a bit of a yawn, maybe you'll be seeking an alternative tournament that retains its roots in its community, something with more authenticity, integrity and punching. We've an idea: the Calcio Storico in Florence. The Calcio Storico is a sporting hidden gem that takes place each June by the people for the people.
Calcio Storico is a bit like the Shrovetide Ball Games or the Eton Wall Game in England, a ball game that pre-dates modern football with elements of rugby. Calcio Storico feels a bit more gladiatorial than its English equivalents - boxing is acceptable. Originating in the 17th century, four teams representing the old town districts of Florence compete in an arena in Piazza Santa Croce, using (almost) any means necessary to score goals by throwing the ball over a goal.
I wonder which corporate sponsors this game could attract?
I Calcianti by Stefano Lorenzi
The trailer for the film I Calcianti by Stefano Lorenzi below gives a flavour of the tournament. I'm not sure if this film was ever released. Do any Italian readers know?