Italy Soccer Team Finally Embraces Country’s Multiethnic Identity
Maybe Italy’s embarrassing early elimination from the 2010 World Cup wasn’t all that bad.
The team of old players that had won the 2006 Cup but were unable to get passed the first round this year has been dismantled. What will debut tomorrow, in a friendly match against the Ivory Coast, is the new Italian national team, which represents a much more precise image of Italy’s growing multiracial and multiethnic population. (Despite what Berlusconi or certain fascist Facebook pages declare)
While national teams such as Germany, France, England or Holland have long embraced players born from immigrant parents, until recently Italy’s national team seemed to have a hard time letting go of the all-white identity stereotype.
Well, say hello to new head coach Cesare Prandelli, whose unbiased and color-blind approach might just be what Italians need to finally prove Mussolini’s myth of the Italian-Aryan race to be idiotically lunatic and ignorant.
The new Azzurri will feature some top young talents like “Super” Mario Balotelli, son of Ghanean immigrants and considered by many to be the most promising Italian soccer talent, and Amauri Carvalho de Oliveira, a Brazilian-born player who recently obtained Italian citizenship.
Some Italians — I’m thinking of the racist and xenophobe hardcore Lega Nord voters — might be shocked to see non-white players singing the national anthem before the game. But this segment of the population is bound to be overcome by young generations of Italians whose Albanian, Somali, Romanian, Bulgarian, Eritrean, Moroccan, Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian or Senegalese parents had originally come to Italy to find work, dignity and justice.
Welcome to the 21st century, Italia. Now all you need to do is stop electing those racist haters from the Lega Nord party.