Please note this was published last year...
On The Pitch
1) In Italy on Sundays, it's church, match, home for supporters. In England, its pub, match, pub.
In Italy, pasta and meat sauce with a glass of red wine is the pre-match
meal. In England, kebab and chips with a pint of beer on the way to the
stadium does the trick.
3) In Italy, the police will allow you to throw oranges at a team bus. In England you'd go to jail.
Italian fans behave when going abroad, but go berserk at home. English
fans behave at home, but go stark-raving mad when in Europe.
5) In England, fans sit on the stadium seats. In Italy they use them as weapons.
In England, the stadium stewards watch the crowd. In Italy, the
stewards watch the match or, as in the case at Catania, are actually
7) In England, if you want something to eat at a
game you have to go and buy it from the stadium snack bar. In Italy,
you just shout 'A Bibitaro' at the guy selling snacks 20 metres away,
and then push your money along the row of fans as he passes a cornetto
8) In England, if you are fast, strong and powerful, and
can run nonstop for 90 minutes you are a great player, even if you have
the touch and skills of a donkey. In Italy, if you are tactically and
technically excellent, you are a good player, even if you have the
speed and mobility of a snail.
9) In England, if SKY Sports says
that Peter Crouch is the best player in the world, the whole country
believes and preaches it. In Italy, if SKY Italia says that Simone
Loria is the best defender on the planet, the whole nation cancels
their satellite subscription.
10) In Italy, ‘the end justifies
the means’, and shirt-pulling, diving, cynical fouls and fooling the
referee are seen as important parts of the game. In England, these
things are seen as cheating, and the philosophy that ‘the means
justifies the end’ is followed, with fair play more important than
winning at all costs.
11) In Italy, defending is an art. In England, defending is anti-football.
In Italy, if a team is 3-0 down, the players all give up, while the
fans abuse the team, smash up the worst player’s car, and invade
training the next morning. In England, if a team is losing 8-0, the
players continue to fight and chase every ball until the last minute
even though the cause is lost, while the supporters continue to sing
and cheer on their heroes.
13) In England, a bad referee is incompetent. In Italy, a bad referee is corrupt.
In England post-weekend football shows are 99% highlights and 1%
analysis. In Italy shows are 1% highlights, and 99% analysis (or
15) In England, you rarely hear from
chairmen, who often mind their own business and stay out of the press.
In Italy, the presidents are utterly insane at times, regularly making
controversial remarks, with Palermo’s Maurizio Zamparini the most
Off The Pitch
16) In Italy, bribery and corruption is a part of life. In England, a backhander is a tennis shot.
17) In England, you are innocent until proven guilty. In Italy, you are guilty until proven innocent.
In Italy, children are first given alcohol when they are nine months
old, and learn how to respect and enjoy liquor. In England, children
are banned from drinking alcohol until they are 18, and then proceed to
massacre the stuff.
19) In Italy, sons are cradled by their
mothers until they are 40. In England, sons are thrown out of the house at 16.
20) Italian men
are already shaving before they are 11-years-old, and need to use a
razor every day to stay smooth. English men don’t start shaving until
they are 18, and then have to wait five years just to grow a little bit
of stubble on the end of their chin.
21) In England, punctuality and timekeeping is extremely important. In Italy, being on time is arriving 30 minutes late.
In Italy, no one who travels by train buys a ticket. In England,
everyone buys a ticket, even though the service is a disgrace, prices are a scandalous rip-off
and it would be cheaper to take a taxi.
23) In England, breaking
the law is something you usually keep to yourself. In Italy, breaking
petty rules is a source of amusement and something worth boasting about.
Italians who go on holiday blend into the surroundings and will turn
brown in the sun. The English, who spend most their holidays recovering
from sunburn, have ‘tourist’ written all over them as they trudge onto
the beach with Hawaiian shirts, and socks and sandals.
Italy the idea of wearing head-to-toe sporting clothing is considered
unfashionable. In England wearing anything other than head-to-toe
sports clothing is considered feminine.
26) In Italy, no one
queues up, instead pushing in at the last minute after pretending they
know someone at the front. In England, people queue up for hours, and
then when they are still turned away at the end, they leave without a
27) In Italy, politics is a matter of life and death
depending on which side of the fence you are on. In England it is not
as important as 'Big Brother', a show where a bunch of talentless, airheaded,
nobodies do nothing all day.
28) In Italy, it is normal for two
people of the same sex to greet each other with a hug and kiss on both
cheeks. In England, you are not heterosexual if you do this.
In Italy, if you go to a dinner party, you are guaranteed a six course
meal, a doggy bag, and you have to refuse even more food at least 10
times before the host finally accepts no for an answer. “Are you sure,
you don’t want some more?”…”Yes, I am bloody sure!” In England, you are
asked to bring a bottle with you, the sausage rolls and Quavers run out
after 10 minutes, and you have to make a stop at the McDonalds
drive-thru on the way back home because you are still hungry.
In Italy, TV babes include Juliana Moreira, Ilary Blasi, Christina
Chiabotto, Ilaria D’Amico and Michelle Hunziker, to name just a
handful. In England it's Jordan or Jody Marsh.
What are your
views on this topic? Any other cultural differences between Italy and
England that you can offer? Goal.com would like to know...
Carlo Garganese, Goal.com