===================================== Subject: Re: More thoughts on Brazil Date: 6 Mar 1998 15:23:40 GMT From: email@example.com (Marco Paserman) Marcelo Weinberger wrote: >Anyway, Cagao remains o mais grande do mundo. Yes, but that's because he never had to face the fearsome Italian defences. You South Americans might have nightmares when you hear the name Gentile, but believe me, Maradona and Zico would have never even dared to come and play in Serie A if they had heard of the legendary feats of Castelforte di Sotto's mythical back four: Di Giorgio, Di Paolo, Di Marco and Di Giuseppe, complemented by the amazing goalkeeper Di Luca. Their defensive toughness could only be approached by their local rivals from Castelforte di Sopra: Michelini, Giovannetti, Franceschelli and Andreoni. Let me tell you more: nobody *ever* beat Di Giorgio on a dribbling (and came out alive). Actually Di Giorgio would strip the opponent of the ball fairly 90% of the times, and would hack the daring one down if he attempted to kick the ball past him (not that it would have made a difference, since the great libero Di Paolo would have saved the situation with one of his legendary sliding tackles). The other central defender Di Marco won every single aerial battle in defence, and he would instill such fear in centreforwards, that very soon opponents would just pass the ball to him, just to avoid being tackled. And can we forget the elegant left full-back Di Giuseppe? He was as handsome as a Greek god but as fierce a man to man marker as Di Giorgio, and he basically invented the role of attacking full back. (All tactical innovations come from Italy, after all). Sadly, Castelforte di Sotto never managed to get any farther than Italian Serie D7. Their problem was quite similar to that of Cagao: they were so pleased with their defence, and so good at defending, that whenever they won the ball, they simply would pass it back to the other team, just to show them that they could stop any attacking scheme. In ten years in Serie D7, Castelforte Di Sotto achieved 871 0-0 draws, and won once 1-0 (A penalty awarded because of a dive by Di Giuseppe, but this is material for another thread...) ------------------------------------ Subject: Re: More thoughts on Brazil Date: 06 Mar 1998 17:01:37 +0100 From: Steve Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ah but _they_ never had to face the Ramsbottom brothers Alf, Bert and Fred, seperated at birth these identical triplets turned up for a trial with Wyre Piddle Wanderers on the same day. There understanding was immediate and total, they were all completely two footed and possed and an ability in the air that led to the invention of the trampoline to combat their effectiveness. Their combination on attack was legendary, they knew instinctively where both the ball and each other were, so much so that their blindness didn't effect them at all. Scorers of a combinded 500 goals each season for 10 years, it was too difficult to work out which of them had actually scored, they destroyed allcommers including the famous 1908 Ramsbottom v the League game in which the three brothers took on every player from the football league at the same time, the final score was 4-1, and there was a suspision of offside on the League goal. ============================================================ Subject: The greatest defensive unit ever to play the game Date: 12 Mar 1998 17:01:01 -0700 From: email@example.com (Ariel Mazzarelli) It is a shame that Italians so easily forget the great Di Menticato. When Di Menticato left his native Buenos Aires on a boat bound for the land of his ancestors, il calcio was in a state of disarray. The position of "libero" had been created to allow the captain of the team to feel free to walk towards the stands and improve his relationship with the regazzas. Forwards were allowed to score from all sorts of distances and angles, and their achievements were celebrated as artistic compositions by the opposing goalkeeper. It was commonplace to find a large pot of ravioli behind the net, along with fresh bread and chianti, and plates and silverware so that after a goal was scored the defenders could serve themselves while critiquing the masterpiece; occasionally, they would invite the scorer and toast to his good health. So great was the bond between attackers and defenders in Italia that their usual banter took on a different tone. Salacious remarks directed towards the family tree of an opponent were devoid of malicious intent. This is a typical dialogue of the day between an attacker approaching the goal with the ball and his marker: Defender: Last night your sister said I was a better lover than you are. Attacker: I wish I had been there so you could have taught me something. Defender: Don't worry. I asked my mother and she said that you have excellent technique. Goalkeeper: Eh! If you don't stop chatting you're never gonna score! Shoot the ball already! When word of this state of affairs reached Buenos Aires, it broke the heart of Pappa Di Menticato, a descendant of a long line of anarchists who left Italia when Benito Mussolini rose to power. The only memory more dear to Pappa than calcio was that of his deceased wife. Soon afterwards, Pappa fell ill, and on his deathbed he asked his son, a promising central defender in the local league, to return to Italia and set things right. And so Di Menticato left Buenos Aires to find work in the calcio leagues. The trainers were impressed with this young oriundi, who was as Italian as the locals yet bigger, faster, and stronger--having been raised on three beef steaks a day. Like all oriundi from the Rio de la Plata, Di Menticato brought some fresh tricks that were not known in the land of his ancestors. He even remembered his father's advice about showing public respect for Il Duce and kept a shiny picture of the man in his wallet--what others did not know was that the picture's shine came from Di Menticato's spit. And so Di Menticato was sought by all the big teams--Juventus, Milan, Inter, Lazio, Roma, Fiorentina... but he chose his father's team, Napoli. He was welcomed with open arms--his family's politics were not mentioned, and soon the whole city was buzzing with rumors of the Gran Oriundi. Alas, Di Menticato did not last long in Napoli. When he went to his first training session, the squad's fantasista asked to see a nude portrait of his sister and Di Menticato broke his jaw with one blow. Then when the squad played an intramural match, Di Menticato did not merely stop Napoli's best striker from scoring--he also gave him a double fracture on the right shin, using a firm plancha, when the poor man made the mistake of suggesting that he would pay the boat fare of Di Menticato's fiancee so that they could swap wives properly. Before the sun was down that day, Di Menticato was at the port of Napoli, seeking a boat to take him home. As Di Menticato sat on the dock of the bay, wasting time, he sang his favorite tango, "Antiguo Reloj de Cobre". Antiguo reloj de cobre Ancient copper watch que vas marcando en el tiempo that marks in time los pasajes de mi vida the events of my life que me llenan de emocion. that fill me with emotion. Fuiste orgullo de mi viejo, You were my old man's pride, que te lucia en su cadena who showed you off on his chain como un cacho de sus a~nos as a chunk of years prendido en su corazon. clasped upon his heart. Cuantas veces calmo el llanto How many times it soothed the crying de consentido purrete, of the spoiled kid, mi vieja como un juguete my old woman, as if it were a toy, decia "Prestaselo"... said "Share it with him"... y mientras el murmuraba, and while he muttered, mi vieja se sonreia, my old woman smiled, y yo contento me dormia and I happily went to sleep jugando con el reloj. playing with the watch. Hoy ya pasaron los años. Years have passed since then. Se me fue blanqueando el pelo. My hair whitened. El rebenque de la vida Life's horsewhip me ha golpeado sin cesar. has struck me unceasingly. Y en el banco prestamista And in the lender's bank he llegado a formar fila I have come to stand in line esperando que en la lista waiting that from the list me llamaran pa' cobrar. they call me to collect. Perdoname, viejo, Forgive me, old man, si de vos me olvido; if I forget you; se que lo quisiste tanto I know that you loved it as much como lo quiero yo. as I do. Se que desde el cielo I know that from heaven, me estas campaneando, you are looking out for me, y que estas llorando and that you are crying, como lloro yo. as I cry. Cuatro pesos sucios Four dirty pesos por esa reliquia? for that relic? Venganza del mundo Vengeance from this world, taimado y traidor! so guileful and traitorous! Me mordi fuerte las manos, I bit hard on my hands, el dinero me quemaba, the money burned me, y mientras que blasfemaba and as I blasphemed a la calle enderece, I went up the street, y a la imagen de mi madre and I saw the image of my mother vi que me compadecia, consoling me, y llorando me decia, and crying as she told me, "El viejo te perdono." "The old man forgave you." Meanwhile, a pair of oriundi from the other side of the Rio de la Plata landed in the port. Their names were Di Giorgio and Di Marco, bricklayers by trade and futbolistas by passion. They had left their native Montevideo (where futbol was still an amateur affair) when they had heard that in Italia you could get paid well to play calcio. As they walked along the port they heard our man singing tangos, and went over to him. They saw tears in his eyes and silently tried to console him. After Di Menticato told them what had happened, they realized that they would never be able to play in Serie A. Though their dreams of fame and fortune were shattered, they were so moved by what they heard that they resolved right then and there to stay in Italia and play wherever they could--even as amateurs--to lead by example and save il calcio. The trio wandered around Italia, looking for a club where they could play proper defense and doing odd jobs to pay their way. They were usually turned down, and occasionally even found themselves touring the local police facilities. One fine day they came to Sotto, a town that had anarchist roots going back to the time of Garibaldi. They went to the local tavern and as they worked their way through some bottles of fine chianti with the local clientele, Di Menticato noticed that there was no portrait of Il Duce on the premises. "Excuse me, there is no portrait of Il Duce here". The proprietor shrugged as he dried some glasses. "Don't worry, I have one here. Take it, you can put it where people can see it." The room became silent. The Uruguayos kept drinking from their glasses quietly, as though they did not notice anything. The proprietor made no attempt to take the picture. Di Menticato insisted. "Take it. Look at what a fine picture it is. Look at how it shines." The proprietor put the glasses down. The Uruguayos reached for the bottle and poured themselves another drink. The patrons started to make silent gestures with their heads, bobbing them in Di Menticato's direction. "Do you want to see how I make it shine?" The proprietor curtly answered him. "Ok, show me how you shine." So Di Menticato took a towel from the bar, spat on the picture and rubbed it with the towel. Then he held it up, and with loud cheer everyone agreed it was very shiny indeed. Then Di Menticato passed the picture around, offering a drink to any man that could shine the picture as well as him. In one table sat the goalkeeper of the local club, Di Luca, together with two defenders, Di Paolo and Di Giuseppe. When Di Menticato approached them, they expressed admiration for his huevos and asked him to have a seat. As they talked, the locals confessed that they felt uneasy when they played, as though it was nothing more than an elaborate ceremony devoid of spirit. So Di Menticato told them about the promise he had made to his Pappa, then motioned the Uruguayos over to the table, where they continued to drink heavily while not saying anything. By the end of this historic evening, the greatest defense in the history of calcio had been forged. Although Castelforte di Sotto never rose to Serie A--indeed, they never rose to any division above Serie D7, since all their games ended 0-0--their example was a beacon that was seen far and wide in Italia. Defenders and goalkeepers would make an annual pilgrimage to Sotto so that they could be reminded of the error of their ways and ask for forgiveness. After the war, the local monument to Mussolini was taken down and replaced with a sculpture depicting a goalkeeper flying to stop a shot in the upper corner of the goal, while to the side a defender stands over an opponent that is clutching his ankle in agony, and a blindfolded referee stands next to them. Around this sculpture there is a fountain, and that is where the pilgrims come to toss a coin and pay their respects.