Eye On Italy: Italian Soccer

The Eye on Italy podcast is still on vacation for August, so here’s another quick look at some news stories that have come up recently. This time, as the 2010-2011 soccer season in Italy is about to start, we thought we’d take a look at some recent Italian soccer news. And although not everyone is as crazy about calcio as EOI co-host Jessica is, some of you may be interested in seeing a game while you’re on a trip through Italy – so there’s some information below about how to do that, too.

In recent soccer news in Italy:

  • After the Italian national soccer team’s regrettable showing in the 2010 World Cup, the organization needed a shake-up. New coach Cesare Prandelli is shaking things up in a big way, naming legendary Italian superstar (and legendary troublemaker) Antonio Cassano to the team for a friendly match against the Ivory Coast. Cassano has at times been a liability, but when he’s on form he’s brilliant to watch. This retrospective of Cassano in pictures traces his history with the sport and the national team.
  • Here’s the rest of the lineup for the national friendly match with the Ivory Coast, and more information about the jersey numbers the team were given and the formations Prandelli might use.
  • The 2010-2011 season for Serie A, the country’s highest level of soccer, starts up again on August 29 – none too soon for those of us who have been chomping at the bit for some good Italian footy since the last season ended in May. As much as Jessica loves the Italian ingenuity that went into crafting the online version of the Italian soccer schedule, it’s a bit of a challenge to figure out if you’re not familiar with it. So here’s a link to the 2010-2011 Serie A season calendar, and here’s how to read an Italian soccer schedule (read the second link and then open the first one, you’ll be happier). And if you want a little more, here are a few more notes about the upcoming Serie A season.
  • Planning a trip to Italy during the Italian soccer season? There are games most weekends in cities all over the country, and not just at the top level of the sport. If you want to see one of the big Serie A teams play, here’s a list of the Serie A teams for the 2010-2011 season – but just about any city in Italy will have a local team that’s likely to be playing on the weekends and sometimes during the week. Ask at the local tourist information office to see if there’s a game going on while you’re in town.
  • Here’s a list of articles with more detailed information for anyone who wants to travel to Italy for Serie A soccer games – and it’s full of useful tips about getting to the stadiums as well if you’re just looking for a game going on while you’re in town. And for a first-hand account of how to buy tickets to a Serie A game and what it’s like to go to a match, here’s Jessica’s article about going to a soccer game at Milan’s San Siro stadium.

Even after going to an Italian soccer game you may not share Jessica’s enthusiasm for the sport. But at least you’ll understand what she means when she says it’s practically a national religion – all it takes is attending one game to see how true that is.

Are you a soccer fanatic? Have you been to an Italian soccer match? Do you want to go? Let us know in the comments!

And if you’re new to Eye On Italy, this is a great time to catch up on the 14 episodes of the podcast we’ve already recorded. We’ll be back in a few weeks (when Italy is back from their summer break!), and we’ve already got some great guests lined up for your listening pleasure. Follow @eyeonitaly on Twitter or the Eye On Italy Facebook page to stay in the loop when we have new episodes coming up.

photo by nobbiwan

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