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Ah Italia…

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Don't cry for me...

I never got chance to post anything about them… Like everybody else I was expecting to be watching them in the Quarters… maybe not the Semi’s looking at the spreadsheet in which I put some hypotheticals before all this began, but at least still in the competition. But now it’s the 2nd time that a World Cup holder has gone out in the group stages. Weird. All very weird.

But as they say… FOOTBALL !       Well… as we say.. They say Calcio.

Although I have to admit when I was looking at their teamsheet, in years gone nearly all the Italian players were household names. This time though I wasn’t familiar with most of their squad. Some people will defend them saying that this was a transitional team. The veterans in were still showing the new kids the ropes.

It’s all very sad and unlike with the French farce there is some sympathy for them. But also some puzzlement and the question: What went wrong ?

ESPN USA use this tagline on their World Cup coverage: “One game changes everything.”

Boy did it.

Some music to play them out… and this via goal.com (which fixes a typo on their article):

World Cup 2010: Italy Coach Marcello Lippi Sings The Song Of Faith

Marcello Lippi hopes a song entitled ‘Italy My Love’ (‘Italia, Amore Mio’) strikes a chord with the players ahead of the World Cup.

Lippi will be a guest at the San Remo music festival on February 19 and hopes the song will help players fine tune their motivation for South Africa.

“I accepted the invite, but I will not be singing,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I am happy to be there and I hope the song ‘Italy my love’ is a good omen for us in light of the World Cup in South Africa.

“I have great faith in the team and the players are really proud of wearing the Italy shirt.

“It’s like a dream for them and I hope we can share this with all Italians so we can deserve their love.”

» Full article

Pupo, Emanuele Filiberto & Luca Canonici » Pupo, Emanuele Filiberto & Luca Canonici – Italia, Amore Mio

Additional note: This song as mentioned above was first aired at the Sanremo Festival where there was a bit of controversy. This from Billboard.bz:

Valerio Scanu Wins Controversial Sanremo Festival

Valerio Scanu was the winner of the 60th edition of Italy’s flagship Sanremo Festival. The competition concluded chaotically on Saturday (Feb. 20) amid concerns about the voting system.

Scanu came first with the song “Per Tutte le Volte Che” (“For All the Times That”), while a trio consisting of Pupo, Emanuele Filiberto and the tenor Luca Canonici came second with “Italia, Amore Mio” (“Italy, My Love”). The third place went to Marco Mengoni with “Credimi Ancora” (“Still Believe Me”).

However, there were concerns about some unusual results.

On one evening, the elimination voting system was entrusted to the festival’s orchestra and a jury that had been picked to represent the demographics of the Italian population. Scanu and the Pupo-Filiberto-Canonici trio were initially eliminated from the competition, but were readmitted when the vote was left to TV viewers, who could express their preference by text message.

Many observers – and several festival competitors – were incensed by the apparently special treatment accorded to the Pupo-Filiberti-Canonici trio. Emanuele Filiberto is the grandson of the Italian king Umberto II, who was exiled at the end of the second world war. The family was readmitted to Italy in 2002 and since then the 37-year-old Filiberto (who was born and raised in Switzerland) has carved out a career as a (largely non-musical) media personality.

Critics felt that his trio’s over-the-top patriotic song was given an unfair advantage in winning phone votes when Marcello Lippi, coach of Italy’s national soccer team, appeared as a Sanremo guest and expressed his liking for it. On that occasion Emanuele and his partners even sang a slightly altered version of the lyrics, which is technically against the Festival regulations.

On the final night, when it was announced that Pupo-Filiberto-Canonici had come second, the members of the Sanremo Festival orchestra tore up their sheet music in protest. The consumer rights group Codacons has even called for the Festival result to be suspended, amid claims that the telephone vote may have been rigged.

Extra Time - From The Italian Job soundtrack:

Matt Monro » Matt Monro – On Days Like These

“Ciao bello…”

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