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Soccer Terminology In The Mother Tongue
Part 1 of 4: From The Beginning
by Steve Amoia
Calcio is derived, to the best of my knowledge, from the medieval game of "calcio fiorentino." Or, Florentine kickball. Calcio (cahl-choh) does not literally mean "football or soccer." In Italian, "calciare" means "to kick." A soccer player is a called a "calciatore." When Italians translate the word into English, they use the common term of football. Calcio is a great part of Italian culture, and the word represents their unique identity in the world of international football. Another word close to the hearts and souls of Italians is "Azzurri." (Aht-zoor-ree.)
The Italian National Team is known affectionately by its supporters (tifosi) as the "Azzurri." Or the "Blues." The color of their shirts came from the House of Savoia (Savoy), who were the kings of Italy between 1861 and 1946. The team began playing in 1910, and their first game was a win against France, 6 to 2. After the Republic was formed, the team maintained the blue color, which is synonymous with Italian soccer around the world. All Italian National Teams, regardless of the particular sport, are known as either "Gli Azzurri" (men) or "Le Azzurre" (women.)
Here are some Italian soccer terms, along with related topics, that will help you to better understand calcio italiano. You will hear many of these terms during an actual Italian broadcast. Serie A, which began in 1929, can be seen on RAI International (TV and Radio), Gol TV (Coppa Italia matches only), and Fox Soccer Channel throughout North America. The 2010-2011 Serie A season will begin on Sunday, August 29, 2010 and the defending champion is Internazionale Milano. For a schedule (calendario) of games from the Milan sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport, please click here.
Guarda. (Gwarh-dah.) Ascolta. (Oz-colt-tah.) Impara. (Eem-pah-rah.) Watch. Listen. Learn. Witness the passion of calcio italiano. One day you may be there. ;-)
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