Football: 1982 – Pertini and the World Champions Lecture


A lecture from the Invention of Italy series at the Italian Cultural Institute will look into the football culture through the words of John Foot, a professor of Contemporary Italian History at theĀ University of Bristol.
In 1982 Italy won the World Cup in a 3-1 victory over West Germany. The Italian President, the diminutive anti-fascist ex-partisan Sandro Pertini, celebrated in the stands. On the way back from the match an intrepid photographer captured an impromptu game of cards involving Pertini, Dino Zoff, Franco Causio and manager Enzo Bearzot. In front of them stood the World Cup trophy. Meanwhile, in Italy itself, a wild party had just got underway and would continue for days. The game itself attracted a record TV audience, never equalled before or since. Italy was united in sporting triumph. This talk will look at the links between national identity and the national team, and the ways in which that identity has been strengthened and weakened by its relationship with national sporting prowess and occasional disaster.

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