Yes, soccer is big in Italy. Huge!
A metaphor is that privileged segment of world where something is like something else. We choose to communicate a concept by linking it to something else: When Italy plays We are Italy. We are our “Nazionale,” Italians are the “Azzurri.” (Azure, like the color of our jersey).
For every Italian, soccer is the metaphor for being Italian.
To an extent, Italians and the “Nazionale” are the same entities, the same metaphor for each other.
We are “there.” We are in every player’s feet. We literally move with them. We dribble with our opponents, our bodies both anticipate and follow the players in an attempt to create more strength and persuasion, our minds take action in the action, we are out there in the field, we help them out to kick the ball and score and we jump out of our chairs when… GOAL…!!!
We lost. This time we lost. We lost.
I am an optimist, an incurable optimist!
That’s why I care about a failure, about a defeat.
Not caring about defeats is probably an even bigger defeat that the defeat itself. Let’s not ignore what happened. Let’s care about it. Let’s feel happy about it. A defeat must create an opportunity to capitalize on it. A defeat produces a chance to learn from it. (Learning is the best “teaching experience” in life. I am sure you get the humor of the paradox. I don’t!)
Let’s get the better of defeat. Let’s use our optimism to build an opportunity to re-create, to re-generate… A new sunrise…
“Italian soccer must change,” Mr. Cannavaro, our captain says.
Let’s change. For the better. Let’s improve. Let’s promote a new start. “Let’s get the ball rolling.”
In the meantime, we lost. And it’s OK.
Dear “Azzurri”, we gave you an opportunity to fail.
You are still our potential “Champions.” As long as you are humble enough (and you are) to admit that you (we) lost.
Like an Italian song says,
“Nino non aver paura di sbagliare un calcio di rigore
non e’ mica da questi particolari
che si giudica un giocatore…
Un giocatore lo vedi dal coraggio
dall’altruismo dalla fantasia…”
[Nino, don’t be afraid to fail a penalty kick
a soccer player won’t be judged from such small a detail.
A player must be judged for his courage,
His altruism, his fantasy…]
A player must be judged for his humanity, for his ability to fail, for his capability to get back on track. In other words, a player must be judged for his potential to be a Champion.
We gave you an opportunity to fail, which has nothing to do with forgiving. (We don’t forgive. There is too much of a moral thing in forgiving. What I mean is more of an ethical approach; it’s more philosophical… so to speak… I still don’t get it myself!).
We gave you an opportunity to fail. You used it. You failed. Good job!
Don’t do it again. We are not judging yet. We are still waiting for you to be the Champions.
Be humble. Be optimistic. And get better.
Work hard. And, soon, be the Champions again.
You are still “Us.”
And We still Love you.