Il granata della porta accanto

Alessandro Costantino


"LIVERPOOL, TRA BEATLES E TOFFEES - La nostra prima tappa è Liverpool, città famosa nel mondo più che altro per la musica dei “Fab Four”, cioè i Beatles, sebbene i tifosi di Liverpool ed Everton potrebbero non essere d'accordo con questa affermazione. Facilmente riconoscibile dal rosso dei suoi colori sociali, il Liverpool è senza dubbio la squadra più titolata della città con i suoi innumerevoli trofei vinti tra cui 18 campionati e 5 Coppe dei Campioni, l'ultima delle quali conquistata nel 2005 ai rigori contro il Milan dopo un' incredibile rimonta da 0-3 a 3-3 (vi ricorda qualcosa??). Nonostante questo è l'Everton la squadra della città che, come tifosi del Toro, ci interessa di più: i Toffees come affettuosamente sono definiti, hanno come anno di fondazione il 1878, cioè 14 anni di vita più dei Reds, ma la metà dei titoli vinti in meno rispetto ai cugini. Anche i venti successi in meno nei derby del Merseyside disputati contro il Liverpool sono una dato parecchio “granata”, ma quello che ci piace sottolineare di più e che rende bene l'idea è che l'Everton sia definito “The people's club”, la squadra della gente: roba molto da Toro...



"As a fan of Torino, I have always had sympathy for those teams who are the ‘second team’ of a city, constantly trying to compete with their more illustrious andoften more successful neighbour. Therefore when Alessandro asked me to help give him some information on English cities withtwo or more teams, I was keen to oblige.

"Now our first example is that of Liverpool, a city probably most famous for English music sensation ‘The Beatles’ although I’m sure the fans of Liverpool and Everton may disagree with that assertion. Instantly recognisable by their red kit, Liverpool is undoubtedly the most successful team in the city, with an incredible array of trophies including eighteen league titles, and five European cups – their last one coming in 2005 as they staged a remarkable comeback to defeat AC Milan on penalties.

"However, it is in fact near neighbours Everton who are the oldest team in the city, and they were founded in 1878, fourteen years before Liverpool. Affectionately known as ‘The Toffees’ Everton have won nine league titles and five F.A Cups, but like Liverpool (and Torino) – they have found success difficult to come by domestically in recent years.

"Our second example is the city of Nottingham, perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Robin Hood – who according to legend, ‘robbed from the rich and gave to the poor’. The most successful team in Nottingham is Nottingham Forest, a team who won two successive European Cups in 1979 and 1980 under the management of iconic coach Brian Clough. The recent years have not been as kind to Forest, and they currently find themselves in the second tier of English football. Former Torino player Andrea Silenzi and current sporting director Gianluca Petrachi have pulled on the famous Nottingham Forest shirt in the past twenty years – but neither player is remembered too fondly.

"Formed three years before Nottingham Forest, Notts County is the second team of the city and given their lack of success, one would assume that they would be the team who are most similar to Torino. However, it is in fact Notts County who inspired the Granata’s neighbours Juventus to wear black-and-white striped kits – so if you have ever wanted to know who was to blame for this, now you know. Juventus invited Notts County to open their new stadium in 2011, and rather embarrassingly, Juve could only record a 1-1 draw with County, who ply their trade in the third tier of English football. Our final example focuses on the capital London, or more specifically West London – and their two most famous sides Chelsea and Fulham. Reigning Champions League winners Chelsea have enjoyed a large amount of success in recent years after being taken over by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, and have won three league titles in the last ten years.

"West London is obviously the place to buy a football club if you are a billionaire, as Fulham were taken over by wealthy Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed in 1997. With Al-Fayed’s backing, Fulham were quickly promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history in 2001, and they have stayed their ever since. Fulham’s greatest achievement in recent years was undoubtedly when they thrashed Juventus 4-1 at Craven Cottage (5-4 on aggregate) on their way to the Europa League final in 2010.

(foto Dreosti)