Sorry I wasn’t able to visit with you yesterday, but I was too busy getting my heart ripped out of my chest and torn to bits by a cannibal on the soccer pitch. Other Italian national soccer team fans know what I’m talking about, no? My nearly 3-year-old son was confused as to why Uruguay’s Luis Suárez didn’t have to go sit in time out for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini. Frankly, I dunno why either. My nonni would have smacked him for such behavior (especially since he’s a grown up who should know better).
But let’s get real, here. Italy wasn’t going to win the World Cup. As much as I love ’em, the team had no chemistry and little spirit. And there was no Roberto Baggio to make miracles happen. Maybe it was the heat. Or maybe they were allowed to have sex this time. (Past Italian coaches have prohibited it because it makes the players tired and weak, they say.) Or the Brazilian food wasn’t close enough to mamma’s. Whatever the reason, they were playing like chadrools, who were hungover from Zio Luigi’s annual Ferragosto bash. Where was Super Mario? How could Grande Gigi Buffon do all the defensive work by himself?
No matter. Italy has never won a World Cup outside Europe. The more exotic (by Italian standards) the location, in fact, the worse they seem to do. Remember Asia 2002? I can’t imagine what Qatar will be like in 2022.
Regardless, if I was mamma to the team, I would tell them to wake up and smell the espresso. They need to work harder, push forward, and want to score and win. No more of this tying nonsense. Champions don’t want to tie. They want to win. Period. I pretty much warned them of this before the tournament. (See “How Italy Can Win the World Cup.”) Too bad no one listens to mamma until it’s too late.
Now, it’s time to move on and wait another four years for greatness. In the meantime, these Italian boys need to grow up…after some coddling by mamma, of course. As my Zio Tonino would say, get a haircut, shave off those terrorist beards, and “be man.” His wife, on the other hand, would give them a kiss on the forehead, feed them meatballs, and make them strong like bull for next time with a combination of Italian mamma boot camp (oh the chores you’ll do) and lectures on taking responsibility. Hey, maybe she should replace Prandelli as coach.