Most everyone will agree, Italy is a beautiful country. Great food. Great people. So why do so many people (including myself) hate the Italian Soccer team? Italians might tell you it’s because The Azzurri are a great team and always have been. But by that logic, shouldn’t everyone hate Brazil too? Others will tell you it’s because the Italian team are flagrant divers. But as much as people don’t like Portugal for the same reason, it’s not nearly as bad as the hate I’ve seen for Team Italy. Hmmmm…
Let’s quickly examine three teams that are hated (and loved).
New York Yankees. Storied and successful history, currently successful, highest payroll in MLB, tons of fans across North America.
Toronto Maple Leafs. Storied and successful history, currently awful, tons of fans across North America.
Manchester United. Storied and successful history, currently successful, high payroll, tons of fans worldwide.
What do these teams have in common?
Storied history or a history of success seems to be a must for hating a team. Team Italy wins a lot and always have. Check.
Current success is a wildcard, but as far as I’m concerned, acts a hatred multiplier. Italy are the 2006 World Cup champs. Check.
High payroll isn’t a factor in World Cup soccer, but because it can be looked at as attaining success through not playing on even terms, it can be compared to diving. Both are cheap victories one might say, although fans of the aforementioned teams might just call that sour grapes. For non-Italians, do you hate Team Italy? Why or why not? For Italians, why do you think The Azzurri are hated so much?
Anyway, here’s a little clip from the 2010 World Cup. Dive or leg cramp? You tell me.