Forza Azzurri! Go Blue! World Cup 2014 brings nations together

italian national soccer team

The World Cup 2014 begins today in Brasil and as it does every four years, it brings together nations from every part of the globe.

Soccer — or calcio as it is known in Italy (meaning literally kick) — is practically a national religion for Italians. You’ll often hear Italians say that the only thing that truly unites the country is its national soccer team. That’s because Italy is really 20 different countries: each of its 20 regions has its own customs, foods and wines, its own dialects, and its own culture and traditions. But when the national soccer team plays, every Italian cheers in chorus.

mazzoni toscana rossoIn many ways, the team unites Italians from all walks of life in the same way that the World Cup unites nations from across the globe. And here at Mazzoni wines, we think of it in the same way as we unite an international grape, Merlot, with a classic Italian grape, Sangiovese, in our Tuscan red blend, Rosso di Toscana IGT.

The team is known as the Azzurri, Italian for blue, the color of the Italian national jersey. And when cheering their team on, the Italians cry forza Azzurri!, literally, Go Blue!

The tournament begins tomorrow and Italy has its first match, against England, on Saturday. Here are some useful links for following and cheering along. Note that local time in Brasil is one hour ahead of EST.

FIFA page devoted to the Italian national team, including schedule, English-language news, and updates.

Complete World Cup 2014 schedule.

Italy plays its first game this Saturday at 4 p.m. EST vs. England (you’ll find the complete Italy schedule on its FIFA page here).

Here at Live Like an Italian, we’ll be following and cheering the Azzurri as they progress through the tournament. They have won the World Cup four times in its history and are always a favorite. We hope you’ll join us in cheering: Forza Azzurri!

Image via FIGC.it, the official site of the Italian national soccer team.

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