“We have made Italy; now we have to make Italians,” Massimo d’Azeglio famously stated. Has football made Italians? And how do the country’s anxieties play out on the pitch? Goldblatt talks with historian John Foot about Italian football and its relationship to politics — from Mussolini’s use of the sport as a tool of fascism, to Silvio Berlusconi bringing Italy to the top of the football world, to current anxieties about immigration and national identity — and the failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.
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