Our wonderful Golden Days in Italy intern, Whitney Hickey , has a passion for Italian soccer (futbol), and is counting the moments until the game on Saturday, June 14, when Italy takes on England in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It’s 6:00 p.m. EST in the USA.
Here is Whitney’s Report…
At last the moment futbol fans across the world have waited for: The FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament! Thursday, June 12th marked the start, with 32 countries attending. The games began with the host country Brazil taking on Croatia(3-1). Over the next month millions of futbol fans worldwide will tune in to cheer for their favorite teams.
Here’s mine…Gli Azzurri! The name and the color of the uniforms comes from “Azzurro Savoia”(Savoy Blue)–the color inspired by Italy’s former rulers, the Royal House of Savoy.
Italy is among the best of the competing teams, ranking second behind Brazil. Gli Azzurri have won the title four times — in 1934, 1938, 1982, and most recently in 2006.
This year Italy is in Group D, with Uruguay, Costa Rica, and England, one of the tougher groups. While there are several names to watch for, Mario Balotelli (Striker) is one to know. Mario was born in Palermo, Sicily but was put into foster care at age 3. Balotelli officially gained citizenship in Concesio in August 2008. After the ceremony he released the following statement: ” I am Italian, I feel Italian, I will forever play with the Italy national team”- Mario Balotelli. The true pride of Italians. In the games ahead, Mario hopes to achieve the title as the “Worlds Best Striker”. Andrea Pirlo, the 35-year-old midfielder with 13 goals on 109 international caps is another name to watch out for in the World Cup games.
I’ll be watching in Cleveland, but if anybody out there happens to be in Rome, here are a couple of suggestions to join in on the excitement…
- Scholars Lounge(Via del Plebisito 101) The lounge has 19 screens to watch all your favorite teams play and has english commentary for travelers.
- Feria c/o Lanificio, (Via di Pietralata 159) Rooftop screens to watch the world cups game at one of Rome’s popular discos.
- Eutropia, (Piazza Orazio Giustiniani) This bar prepares meals to of the countries competing. For example, On June 16th you will be able to try food from Iran and Nigeria! A special that you won’t find everywhere!
To keep up to date with all the matches, click on Official Website of FIFA
Grazie Whitney! We’ll keep watching your reports on Twitter.