Almost every Italian football fan is supporting Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester for the Premiership. But for some of them watching on tv is simply not enough.
A popular Italian Facebook page, Calciatori Brutti, (literally “Ugly Players”) is organising a mass car trip from Italy to Leicester for the last home match on May 7, with thousands expected to join.
Calciatori Brutti has achieved a cult-like status among Italian football fans thanks to their ironic and irreverent style. The page has 1.2m followers on Facebook: since the idea of the car trip was launched, 65,000 of them have expressed the intention to participate.
«Obviously, we will be less than the Facebook partecipants»,says Samuele Maffizzoli, their managing editor, «but this trip will put together supporters of every Italian teams that usually spend time fighting each other».
This trip has been called “macchinata ignorante“, literally “ignorant car trip”, using a term that is rapidly adopting a new, positive, meaning. «Ignorance means living in an easy and unconventional way a sport that we Italians take too seriously» says Samuele. In his words, the amazing Leicester story represents «the triumph of the ‘ignorance’ and team spirit against top players and big money spent randomly».
Details of the trip have been published on their Facebook event page: The participants will meet in the parking space of the San Siro Stadium in Milano on Friday 6th May at 1pm. The caravan will drive through Switzerland and France, before getting the ferry to Britain, planning to arrive at Victoria Park in Leicester on Saturday around 12pm. The time before the Everton match will be spent doing barbecues, playing football with the locals and enjoying the local beer. Many are expected to join along the way or go straight to Leicester separately. For those that don’t have a car, busses have been arranged.
What is so special about the Leicester story? we ask «The fact that the group has gone beyond the single players has astonished us», Samuele says «staying all together and overcoming every kind of difficulties. We want to applaud what every supporter hopes to see for his favourite team: an unexpected season and a miracle». What will happen in the unlikely event of Leicester’s failure to win the title? “We will still party.” he says, “ new friendships will be born, and we will celebrate a myth, with just one more hope: we will try not to get arrested”.
Picture: Facebook event Banner (source: Facebook page Calciatori Brutti)
Interview by Matteo Calautti. Read here the article in Italian