Forza Italia – The Fall and Rise of Italian Football
Written by Paddy Agnew, Published by Random House Group’ 2007 edition.
This book tells of Paddy Agnew’s journey as a commentator on things Italian, mainly Football from his arrival in December 1985 to mid 2007.
He arrived in Rome with his girlfriend Dympna not knowing the language and initially depending on her small income until he became established. Eventually moving out of ‘The Eternal City’ to a village north of the capital where he still lives with his wife Dympna and their daughter Róisín.
It tells of how he was initially taken advantage of and given the run around by differing people but was determined to get established and get to understand the very soul of Italian Football and how it shapes their society and how the Italian way shapes it.
Paddy has carved out a career in journalism and become a go to authority on the Italian Football scene. He initially worked freelance and for the Irish Times from 1986 until autumn 2017. He has also reported successfully for RTE, ESPNTV, Newstalk 106, the BBC World Service, Reuters, Talksport and World Soccer Magazine for whom he posts regularly.
With a varied palate of reporting on the Vatican, the Mafia and the intrigues of Serie ‘A’ football he has never had a dull moment.
The book tells how he has fallen in love with the Italian game, all its twists and turns, ups and downs. The corruption scandals, the individuals who run, manage the game and the judiciary who have exposed the wrong doings are all there to give you the information to make up your own mind on the Italian way.
This book does not get into the deep feelings of the Italian fans like Tim Parks’ ‘A Season With Verona’ but it does give a great depth of information and thought into the way in which the upper echelons ran the game in the period of the book.
As a historical piece of this era it is very concise and to understand Italian Football of today it is a must to read.