It is remarkable how the Italians get away with it. Whether its politics, crime or mafia (which is Sicilian honestly) the Italians always have a way with it. This includes making us lesser mortals watch anorexic individuals wear bits and pieces of cloth and passing it off as fashion or enticing us ridiculously unhealthy diet laden with cholesterol.
This week was a game of football and AS Roma took gamesmanship to the next level of course they were helped by some cases of frayed tempers from united but at the end of the day it stands Roma 2- United 1.
I guess the Italians take their literature very seriously. Nicolo Machiavelli gave them the ‘Ethics of Practicality’ as end justifies the means. Hence Roma despite being an inferior side did what they could to win. Some of the tactics even took me by surprise being a seasoned soccer fan I thought I had seen all the game had to offer but the Italian taught me a new lesson that day.
No discussion on the Italian soccer can be complete without head butting.
Well it’s an amateurish sport mostly for kindergarten students but Italian soccer players love to be the recipient of this sport. The current champion of course is Materazzi who infuriated Zidane to head butt him the result Italians are the current world cup champions.
Also there is the divine pony tail the one and only Roberto Baggio whose missing the penalty in 94 ensured that the gamesmanship of Italian defenders like Maldini and company was undone and justice followed by giving Brazil their Penta.
Coming back to the current context Roma were just outstanding, that is they did their outside the pitch strategies very well, these included taking corners and throwins quickly, the ball boys and girls were well instructed to throw in the ball very quickly to ensure that United was under pressure constantly. The best performance was undoubtedly Totti who fell every time he was in the vicinity of Paul Scholes and the veteran mid fielder was shown a red card compounding United’s problem and ensuring Roma’s Tactics won them the day.
So where does that leave us well if my memory serves me right Machiavelli ended his time by spending his ;last few days in a dungeon so if Roma end up losing the return leg to United it would be rather poetic justice if they don’t well then maybe gamesmanship does work.
To conclude let us spare a thought for the United supporters who were beaten to the pulp by the Italian police and that was totally uncalled for reminded us of the brutality of the Rome police during the European cup tie of Liverpool in 1984.