In "Forza Italia - A Journey in Search of Italy and Its Football," published last week, the author Paddy Agnew, who has lived near Rome for the past 21 years, paints a picture of a culture of calcio with one foot seemingly permanently mired in suspicion.
Agnew's journey is that of a young Irish journalist drawn to Italy and its twin religions of Catholicism and soccer. He lives, as Italians do, for and through the travails of the national team, the Azzurri, which reflects the aspirations of a land shaped like a boot.
From Agnelli to Berlusconi, to Maradona at Napoli, the Mafia involvement in the Palermo club, he finds the sport is inextricable from politics, and often from dirty politics.
Who knew? :-)
History shows us wierd parallels... Silvio Berlusconi may have lost his prime-ministership, but he still owns AC Milan. I wonder if Bush will buy back the Rangers once he gets back to Crawford.