The football we know best is played in the most famous stadiums around the world, we have seen its better-looking version countless times on the catwalks, the one from which everything begins, however, hides, shy and real, within the walls of the historical societies of all the cities.
In the old pitches, in the stands scratched by time and by the loud voices of the heartfelt home cheering, in the faces of those who wash the uniforms, of those who train hordes and hordes of boys, of those who pick up the balls at the end of each game, of those who open and close makeshift locker rooms and in all the presidents who live the pitch as or more than the others.
It is exactly with the stories of these realities that Calcetto Eleganza, the Milanese football team that from 2014 combines sport, fashion, culture, and ideas, has decided to launch its new fashion item, the dad hat “Non per Sport ma per Moda“, which follows th iconic scarf.
With an editorial taken in the pitches of the historic teams of the suburbs of Milan, the elegant boys wanted to dig into the background of the most important figures of each club, those maybe invisible to most, but essential for anyone who has ever walked one of those fields.
See you there.
“Lupo”, GSD La Spezia Calcio
Antonio “Lupo” Vangeli trains the goalkeepers of the amateur team La Spezia, a few steps from the metro station Famagosta. For Lupo, 71 years old, there is no modern goalkeeper able to satisfy the minimum requirements of his role, so much so that – without paraphrasing – he says: “Those like me no longer exist”. In 1971 he founded the first school in Italy dedicated to number 1, claiming vigorously that it was even the first in the world. He saves a goal rigorously with his bare hands and has given lessons to Abbiati, Rampulla, Ielpo and other famous goalkeepers of made in Italy football.
He has played in Catanzaro, in Serie B, and his only benchmark is Dino Zoff who, with a bit of pride, has surpassed in longevity to the photo finish treading the fields until the age of 46 years.
Giancarlo, AC GARIBALDINA 1932
Giancarlo Combi, 88 years old, has been the Garibaldina’s warehouseman for 40 years – in the Dergano/Bovisa area.
He has an enviable collection of Juventus caps and every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday proudly he wears the Garibaldina personalized sweatshirt with his name. His kingdom is the company’s warehouse/laundry room, where he washes, dries and folds the team’s uniforms, every week, in what is, in effect, a sacred ritual.
On Sunday, after the match of the first team, he usually goes to church by bicycle for the Mass at 6:00 p.m.
Franco, U.S. Visconti Calcio
Franco is the general manager of Visconti, one of the most historic companies in Milan. Baggio is the area. Sicilian, he has dedicated 30 years of his commitment to yellow-green.
He told us that the company was founded in 1945 in honor of Ernesto Felice Visconti, a partisan who died fighting for freedom in Via Forze Armate 170, the address of the Sports Centre that still today preserves its original nature: a single old pitch for all teams, a bar and a sequence of old-school changing rooms.
Visconti is a humble society, which does not pretend to churn out champions, but with a very precise mission: to give vent to the passion of the children of the area with “difficult” backgrounds and stories.
Franco has a close relationship with his guys and literally claims to have “the address of the right way”. On Sunday, the sports centre is the prerogative of the first team, while on Saturday it is given in concession to the tournament of the South American teams in Milan.
Franco has preferred not to be photographed giving space to Sorin, Albanian all-rounder who has accompanied us around the Sports Centre for which he has worked for 8 years.
Geppo, A.S.D. Alcione
Geppo is the Alcione historical factotum, the sport club of Baggio. “The first team was born with me”, he tells us a bit nostalgically a few minutes from the whistle of the start of the big match between Alcione and Castellanzese. Geppo has followed and supported the evolution of the team from the “Terza categoria” to the “Italian Excellence”, where the team now plays – from the old Sports Centre in Via Capecelatro, to the renovated “Kennedy” field. He hasn’t lost a training session or a match for 20 years and is always ready to give support to Bruno, historical manager of the club with which he coordinates and chit-chats daily. Professional footballers such as the “airone” Caracciolo and the more recent Nicolò Rovella, a talented player with an orange/blue heart, born in 2001 and sold to Genoa in the summer of 2017, have passed through Alcione.
Guido, A.S Barona
Guido is the Vice President of A.S. Barona Calcio. The scenario is a modern sports center and definitely quiet. Guido welcomed us with a good-natured willingness at the invitation of the elderly gentleman at the box office. Although he is not closely linked to the Barona neighborhood as such, he has done all the cursus honorum in society: from a simple parent to an executive, from a social doctor to a vice president, a role he has held for 10 years now. He lives in Via Savona and when asked how much fashion intrigued him he laconically replied: “I live fashion by reflection, every time my wife wants a new bag!” Guido has been running his children through the most representative societies in Milan for a lifetime. When he crosses the threshold of the Barona, however, so do his guys.
For Guido football is pure and unconditional passion – and at the end of this tour we could only agree with him.
Photography: Giuseppe Romano