And So It Begins


Madrid, 11 July 1982: Dino Zoff raises the cup.



Today, the greatest event in the world of football (or, as you might say, soccer) begins: the World Championship. 

I was blessed with two victories of Italy in my lifetime, and solemnly promised to the Lord in 1982 I would never ask for another grace like this if he gave me that one. Which he did, and Marco Tardelli’s goal  (with the spontaneous eruption of joy that became famous, and which in general makes us Italians so beloved everywhere… 😉 ) is etched in my mind as in the mind of countless Italians. 

To have your Country winning the World Championship in your early Twenties is simply astonishing. I knew it would be sheer haughtiness to ask for more. 

But I prayed during the penalties in the final of 1994, in the USA, against Brazil. To my defence, I must say I accepted the verdict with Christian resignation. But I prayed nevertheless. We are all spoiled children, never happy with what is given to us. 

I prayed again during the penalties in 2006. This time, I prayed like a condemned man in front of the execution squad. The thought of losing two World Championships at the penalties was simply too much to bear. 

Once again, I asked knowing I had perfectly no right to. 

God was good to us, again. 

Seriously, I will not ask this time. I know I truly have no right. 

No, I won’t. 

I mean, not even if the occasion arises. 

At least I will try… 

Because I am a spoiled child, never happy with what is given to me…

Posted on June 12, 2014, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. 1982 was my favourite World Cup ever! (Though I must admit I was backing West Germany …) 😉

  2. Surely you must be a naturalised Englishman by now?

    Pray for England – we need it more than Italy.

  3. Well, Mundabor, count me in on that.
    L’ urlo di Tardelli for ever, altro che quello di Munch!

  4. The early Christians were forbidden to engage in games of sport…too pagan, I believe was the reason given. Sunday sports have replaced Church attendance for many Christians. The gospels do not mention that Jesus or the apostles engaged in games of sport. I have never had much interest at all in games of sport, and frankly do not understand why people go nuts over games. American football and boxing and wrestling are the most difficult to understand. Perhaps games of sport are good training for war, and war at least for the time being seems to be a necessary evil.

    • The early Christians did not do a lot of things we do.
      They did not go on the Internet, for example.
      But yes, sport is also, in good part, a way to channel male aggressiveness and steel their spirit.

  5. I expected Brasil to win their first game – I just didn’t think they would need so much help from the referee to do it.

    As an American of Argentinean/Italian descent, I have at least a few teams to root for. Although for me, the best World Cup game ever was the 1982 semifinal between West Germany and France.

    • Than man was a walking disgrace.
      Are the times comfortable enough for the US? I assume the east coast should be fine, but in the west is a bit too early?
      Here in Fagland it is very uncomfortable, but in most of Continental Europe is worse. In Italy today-game will begin at midnight. Tomorrow’s productivity will be bad.

  6. Comfortable enough for the East, but still a little early for the Central and West time zones (during the work day). But now there is another good use for the internet besides your exceptional blog!

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