Como’s Race Against Time
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
1w ago
Como have embarked upon a remarkable journey since the arrival of their Indonesian owners in 2019. Having risen from the depths of Serie D, they now stand on the brink of promotion to Serie A.   When the club was declared bankrupt for the second time in 2017, Como’s loyal supporters would not have dreamed of the scenario they now find themselves in. Benevolent billionaire owners, Cesc Fabregas stepping out in the blue shirt and Thierry Henry in the boardroom are the makings of a fairy tale.  Como are on the way back – and they’re doing it in the right way.  The club has har ..read more
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Norman Adcock: The Forgotten Italian Football Trailblazer
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
3w ago
From the bleak adversity of war sprang the most unexpected of opportunities for one pioneering footballer.  As Europe was emerging from the devastation of the Second World War, Charles ‘Norman’ Adcock became the first British player to earn a professional contract in Italian football. Nearly eighty years on, he remains one of the most prolific British forwards ever to have played in the country.  The courageous steps taken by Adcock – in a country bearing the deep scars of conflict – paved the way for the likes of Hitchens, Hateley, Platt and Abraham in the decades that followed ..read more
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Calcio Travel Notes: Padova
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
1M ago
The city of Padova is a hidden gem…albeit hidden in plain sight.  A picturesque walled city with a quarter of a million inhabitants, Padova is home to one of the world’s oldest universities and a trove of protected heritage monuments. So why haven’t you heard more about it? The answer is Venice. The tourist honeypot located 40km to the east casts a long shadow over the region.  Padova’s arcaded streets and charming piazze have an authentic feel. The daily rhythm of local people going about their business is all in stark contrast to the commercialised and saturated – both metapho ..read more
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Once Upon A Time In Padova: The Making Of Alessandro Del Piero
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
2M ago
The verdant slopes to the north of Treviso are dressed with orderly rows of vines. In this idyllic rural landscape, the patient work of the winemakers is reflected in a tranquil pace of life. It was against this peaceful backdrop, the unlikely setting of Prosecco country, that one of Italy’s finest footballing talents emerged.  Alessandro Del Piero’s footballing journey began in the red and white shirts of his local San Vendemiano club. His mother, Bruna, had initially wanted him to play in goal, away from the rough-and-tumble in the centre of the pitch. A quiet but determined child, than ..read more
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No Such Thing As Bad Publicity? The Not-So-Supercoppa Italiana
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
3M ago
On Thursday evening, Napoli and Fiorentina players lethargically performed before a few thousand impassive customers, in a soulless stadium thousands of miles from home. It was a sorry spectacle as the once magnificent institution of Italian football contorted itself at the whim of the highest bidder. The official attendance of Napoli v Fiorentina was 9,782, though the images shown on television suggest this is an optimistic assessment. “Don’t worry”, they said, it’ll be full for Inter v Lazio. Yet only 20,767 attended that fixture the following evening. It’s easy to pour scorn on the decision ..read more
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Calcio Travel Notes: Empoli
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
3M ago
Empoli is not typically regarded as one of the pearls of the Tuscan necklace.  Located betwixt two of the region’s tourist honey pots, the tower-ogling tourists in Pisa pass directly through Empoli in on their way to the overflowing cultrual cup of Florence. Existing in the shadow of its glamourous neighbours, Empoli is little more than a dot on a train line to these transient hordes. Niether would it be controversial to suggest that Empoli also lacks the medieval charm of Tuscany’s smaller walled cities, such as Lucca and Siena. It is, by local standards, a somewhat non-descript place. T ..read more
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Dragons and Devils – The Welshman Working His Magic at AC Milan 
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
3M ago
Tony Roberts has a footballing résumé that reads like a work fiction. It is certainly worthy material for a feature-length film and, if it were to be brought to the big screen, it’s not implausible that Roberts himself might roll back the years to play the lead role. The Welsh goalkeeper made his First Division debut as a teenager with QPR, spending over a decade with the West London club. Initially an understudy to David Seaman and then Jan Stejskal, it was assumed he would eventually graduate to become first choice. However, just 122 appearances across eleven seasons tell the story of a ..read more
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Classic Encounters: Padova 2-1 Inter, December 1995
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
4M ago
Emerging against the backdrop of the Balkan conflict, Goran Vlaovic was a precocious young talent. The teenager’s midas touch in front of goal had illuminated the newly-formed Croatian League and led to his debut for the national team, all before his 20th birthday.  Vlaovic had first crossed paths with Padova back in 1992. He participated in a triangular pre-season tournament at Stadio Appiani that pitted his HASK Gradanski side against Padova and AC Milan. A goal scored against Milan’s illustrious backline, was a coming-of-age moment for the youngster.  Fast, technically a ..read more
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Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise: The Forgotten Chapter of Batistuta’s Florentine Story
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
5M ago
“Florence has not forgotten Batistuta”, declared the city’s Mayor as he conferred honourary citizenship upon the Argentinian in 2016.  Over the course of nine captivating years, the rambunctious Batistuta had become a physical representation of the city of Florence.  He was art and violence. Leonardo Da Vinci meets Calcio Fiorentino.  He was beauty and brawn; the precise elegance of Brunelleschi’s Coppola combined with the ruthlessness of the Medicis.  With his trademark billowing mane and hulking thighs, he struck 207 goals in 337 games in the storied Viola shirt. But ..read more
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The Rarest Piece of Italian Football Memorabilia to Ever Appear on EBay?
Calcio England
by CalcioEngland
5M ago
Scrolling through EBay recently, I came across an incredibly rare item of Italian football memorabilia; a potential museum piece. This item takes us back not quite to year zero of Italian football, but pretty close to it. The story of how the game of football landed on Italian shores in the late 19th century – and the influences of British expats and sailors – has been told many times over. In those early years, the port city of Genoa played a formative role, so too did the city of Turin. The strong links between Nottingham and Turin, owing to a shared interest in the textiles industry, was pi ..read more
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