By Edoardo Giribaldi
“Italy, and the spring, and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy” that’s the opinion of Bertrand Russel, one of the most respected philosophers in history.
However, I would say that to make the gloomiest Italian person happy, that’s still not enough.
Of course, Italy is lovely, spring and first love are amazing, but an Italian wants more.
Change the quote in “Italy, the spring, first love, and THE ITALIAN SOCCER TEAM WINNING THE WORLD CUP”, and you’ll find the recipe to make an Italian the happiest person in the world.
Yes, Italian take soccer seriously, maybe too much.
As the British Prime Minister in the years of World War II Winston Churchill would say: “Italians lose wars as if they were football matches, and football matches as if they were wars “.
So every single Sunday afternoon, for 90 minutes, an Italian is no more an advocate, an employee, or a doctor.
He turns into a soccer coach, directly from the couch of his home, criticizing every lousy choice of the one encharged, and praising every good one with the classic “Lo avrei fatto anche io” (I would have done the same thing).
Among them, some have become real coaches, and export their knowledge all around the world, with excellent results.
According to a research conducted by UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), Italy occupies the first place when we talk about the nationality of the most successful coaches, with a total of 40 trophies raised in UEFA competitions (that include Champions League and Europe League, the two most prestigious titles at European level).
The crucial factor is that Italian coaches don’t merely raise trophies in their own country. For example, take the Premier League, the top league in England, considered nowadays the best league in the world for quality of the game and audience reached.
Taking a look at the last ten championships editions, four of them were won by teams trained by four different Italian coaches: Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Mancini, Antonio Conte, and Claudio Ranieri.
Something that had never happened in the story of the competition.
It’s impossible to forget the triumph of Leicester City in season 2015/16 with mister Claudio Ranieri on the bench.
An inspiring story, with the “Foxes,” who had just been promoted in Premier League, and the supporters expecting a tough season, with their team struggling not to be relegated.
With a bunch of improbable players (the striker Jamie Vardy a couple of years before was working in a steel factory), Ranieri won the title, making the history of the club and showing one of the most prominent qualities recognized to Italian coaches: to bring the best qualities out of the players: not merely technique but attitude,approach, and motivations.
Not always they had the best players, but they won because theirs were ready to die on the field for their teammates.
So that’s the secret of the success: the collectiveness, the team itself and not the single players that make the difference.
That’s the opinion of Italian soccer coach Arrigo Sacchi, elected by “France Futbol,” one of the three most influential coaches in football history that, in his autobiography, writes: “I always thought about football as a team game: eleven players can always arrive where one single will never.”
For a second opinion, ask Sir Alex Ferguson, the Scottish coach who won everything he could win with Manchester United in England.
In an interview promoting his autobiography entitled “Managing my Life,” he affirmed that in the 90s, he build the successes of his team, taking inspiration from one team in particular.
That team was Italian, Juventus, and their coach was Italian as well, Giovanni Trapattoni.