The Hungry

I have loved football since I was little, like all Italians, and I won’t hide my sympathy for that glorious team from Turin, Juventus. In recent years, football has left me a little nauseous: scandals, corruption, too much gossip and too much money. But this year, Juventus has won me back to the sport. In the last six years, the Old Lady has suffered much, won nothing and played poorly, making tons of mistakes … but lately it has been getting back on track.

Fighter Arturo Vidal, grit and drive

I am not here to write a polemical sport post, nor a piece from the perspective of a big Juventus fan. Instead, I am here to analyse why it is that this year, this team has fascinated me to such a degree that I have gone to the stadium Four times, something that has probably never happened before in my entire life. The atmosphere at the new stadium is fantastic, a structure designed to get families and children involved in a totally safe environment, an open air theatre for the enjoyment of sport.

The symbol of Juve, a true professional, an example to follow

The white and black players really want to play and to win. You see it in how they throw themselves onto every ball, they are hungry and they want to make up for their ill-fated past. And you see it in how the fans react in Juventus stadium. It is incredible how the eleven players and 40,000 fans communicate and spur each other on. Coach Antonio Conte is the strategist, the leader, the one responsible for this rebirth, the man who makes the decisions and who takes responsibility for his own actions. He is a great leader motivator. No one would have bet on him, not even a single cent, but he has surprised us, building a mentality and reality that will certainly bring satisfying results.

Buffon and Pirlo, quality, experience and professionalism

I wanted to write a post about the Juve because one frequently speaks poorly of sport, and especially football, but I think that there is something to be learnt from the unexpected return of this team. I got involved because this team, underestimated and ignored last summer, is communicating values worth teaching: the spirit of sacrifice, hard work, humbleness and determination. These are the values that coach Antonio Conte repeats constantly: to get results, you need to work hard, with humbleness and tenacity, give 110%, developing self-esteem and conviction, with dedication to work. It takes patience, however, something that with the fast speed of today’s world is difficult to understand and accept.

Giaccherini, an example of how will and the spirit of sacrifice can make up for lesser talent

I feel affinity for this way of thinking, perhaps I see myself in it or simply want to see myself there. I have always liked fighting and struggling for a goal, independent of how likely I might be to reach it. Enthusiasm is the fuel of life and so far, this energy – thank goodness – has never failed me.

Marchisio, the future banner of Juve...and born on the same day as me, 19 January...

Even if I am only publishing just it now [translator’s note: the Italian version of this blog post was published on 6 May!], I writing this post at an unimpeachable time: there are seven more days until the end of the season and the Championship remains in a delicate balance…