Monday, 6 January 2014
Match 2: Sampdoria
One month to the day since my first, and at this point, only trip round Italy in pursuit of calcio, I really pushed the boat out. The gruelling voyage of discovery to watch Sampdoria took me about 15 minutes, which was most satisfyingly easy. The game was a Wednesday night affair, and given that I had work on the Wednesday afternoon and then again on the Thursday morning, venturing too far from home would have been tricky.
So, after starting with Il Toro, game number two was Sampdoria versus Roma. In a way, this game brought me back full-circle to my Italian football origins, if that doesn't sound too grand or lah-di-dah. When I was but a child, my first interest in Italian football blossomed through Gazzetta Football Italia with James Richardson, and Roma winning the Scudetto. Playing for them at that time were Totti, Batistuta, Montella and Delvecchio, but over the years three of them had departed, Totti's arse had got much bigger, and I had (at least outwardly) lost interest in obsessing over football, instead trying to blend in with the rest of my age-group and their interests in more trivial things like school, girls and booze.
Then, when I came to Italy in 2008, my first game was watching Sampdoria play Juventus. Compared to Scottish fitba' and straining to watch a match at Easter Road through the rolling sleet, this was a revelation. It was sunny! I (probably) wore a T shirt! There were flags, banners and flares all over the shop! It was another world.