Monday, May 10

Inter-Milan - Not just between us

I love soccer tremendously, but something I am not very proud of is the fact that I have never once entered into an Italian soccer stadium, nor do I follow the sport.  To think I've been in Italy on the eve of winning many a World Cup is even more distressing.  But, nonetheless, I've always liked the sport for its democracy - with players, you need not look like the Incredible Hulk to play -- all it took was sheer talent.  
But, the democracy of the sport goes further than that.  The Economist once quipped, it's pretty much the only business in which goods (the players) move absolutely freely (I imagine other than the drug trade) -- So much so, you will undoubtedly find a rainbow coalition of teams and players moving round without impediments of needless regulations found in other industries.
So freely, in fact, that I was stunned to read a complaint by someone in Italy who remarked that 
'it's strange to find so many Italians rooting for Inter Milan, when there's not a single Italian in the whole lot.'  
So, I did a bit of investigating, and actually, that statement is not 100% correct, but rather, 75%.
The SkySports roster gives the names of each of the players, but not their nationalities.  But judging by the names, it looks as though if each team member went back to his place of origin as they do in one of their tournaments, Inter Milan for one would be hard-pressed to cobble together 11 players on the field:

Inter Milan Squad List                    
Julio Cesar     
Francesco Toldo 
Paolo Orlandoni
Cristian Chivu 
Davide Santon            
Javier Zanetti   (Argentinian)
Marco Materazzi
Ivan Cordoba  
Walter Samuel            
Giulio Donati
Lucio (Brazilian)

Rene Krhin     
Esteban Cambiasso      
Wesley Sneijder          
Ricardo Quaresma       
Lorenzo Crisetig                                               
Sulley Muntari            
Mancini (Brasil?)
Sebastian Carlsen                                               
Patrick Vieira  
Thiago Motta  
Alen Stevanovic      
Dejan Stankovic        
McDonald Mariga            
Samuel Eto'o  
Diego Milito   
Marko Arnautovic      
Mario Balotelli            
Goran Pandev
Denis Alibec                                       
David Suazo    

But, you're certain that all these guys can in the very least rely upon a bona fide Italian D.O.C. Manager.  Well, check that label again. Manager Josè Mourinho is Portughese.  
So, is it not just the researchers that are fleeing the country in a brain drain?  Do we also have a sprain drain? 


Dave514 said...

Other than my own personal sport of shistle pooting, the only other one I used to play and follow was Ice Hockey, now also a democratic sport.

It has been described as, "High Mass" on ice, but then you've got to be at least part Canadian to understand that comment.

Anonymous said...

All the NHL players in the US are from Russia, Sweden and Finland. Very view Americans on the hockey teams!

Francesca Maggi said...

BTW/And, the guy behind Chelsea's new success? (aside from all the money) is Italian!

Anonymous said...

Thought you'd like this quote from the late Ernie Harwell who remarked 30 years ago:

"In baseball, democracy shines its clearest. The only race that matters is the race to the bag. The creed is the rulebook. Color, merely something to distinguish one team's uniform from another."

snoop said...

zanetti and lucio are argentinian and brazilian.

Jessica, WhyGo Italy said...

And Mancini is also Brazilian, I believe (and was on loan to AC Milan for half of this last season as well). Additionally, the two back-up goalkeepers (Toldo & Orlandoni) never play. Ever. I think I can count on one hand the number of games Cesar wasn't in goal this year...

Irreverent Italy said...

Wow - I'll correct the post now!!! Thanks you guys!
But, with last names like those, could it be they are of Italian ancestry (and that's why they play so well??!!)