Craxi and Turin: a love story in football

The football-mad Bettino, shadow president of the grenade.

Valentino Mazzola, the captain of the captains of Italy, is a worker. He wears the garnet sash of Hercules. He claims, in creating the myth of the Grande Torino, that it is:

“It’s much better to work: doing nothing risks ruining a really healthy passion for football.”

His motto is the alternative to the law of the lambs. Benedetto Craxi, for friends Bettinois a Milanese boy sitting in a cheap wooden chair listening to the words of the simple ten on the radio: one of the symbols of reconstruction.

On the evening of May 4, 1949, he found out about his father News that changed football history forever World Cup: At 17:03 the plane FIAT G. 212 of the company ALI with the brand I-ELCE with the entire team of the invincible Turin on board had crashed into the Basilica of Superga, had erased the legend from the earth and reaped a total of thirty-one Dead. The story rips out the heart of the boy and hundreds of thousands of Italians: from that moment his bond with the Po workers’ bench becomes inseparable.

The dispute between Bettino Craxi and the Italian Socialist Party was a long adventure

On August 27, 1999, at sunset of his golden exile in Hammamet, Bettino, one of the most powerful men in Europe, despite being locked in a cage, agrees to chat in front of the cameras of Tele+: he confesses to Fabio Caressa his unbridled love for the horns of Eupalla:

«I have always remained loyal to Turinas for the weapon. For me, a small fan, Superga was the first big pain of my life. I also remember the formation of the old Turin, I even have a home photo of this now historic team ».

A relationship underpinned by melancholy, lust and revenge. The melancholic memories of a past evaporated under the blows of Tangentopoli, which prevented him from sitting again in the stands delle Alpi together with his colleagues La Ganga and Garesio, in a kind of long-distance fight with Gianni Agnelli, which he never suffered from charisma . A handful of jealously guarded nostalgia until the last days of his life he regretted not taking a place in the marathon, drawing with his fingers in the clouds a past without Superga in which Mazzola won the international titles. All seasoned with the song of grenade statute, Still Taurus:

Granata is a second skin
wearing it is like traveling between the stars
I know what it is
history and legend
Let’s play, the flame hasn’t gone out.

The enjoyment of Craxi Luxury Guide It is registered on May 16, 1976, the day of the seventh Turin Scudetto, and extends to the friendship with the coach of the ride, Gigi Radice, who has never hidden his political affiliation:

“NotI am ashamed to say that I have left-wing political ideas, between socialists and communists: so what? That’s exactly why I did it a vision of football and society it’s not just the training and the bench anymore».

A 1-1 home draw at Comunale against Cesena is enough to defeat Juventus with 45 points down the stretch, who slipped well in Perugia and blocked by 43 lengths. Bettino is also among the 65,000 of the Turin Catholic Churchwho shakes hands with patron Orfeo Pianelli and rubs his eyes at the victorious jump of Pulici, hero of the laurels, together with Ciccio Graziani, the Batman and Robin of Serie A.

Without forgetting Claudio Sala, the poet of the goal, madly loved by the ex-socialist secretary and the wild Pecci and Zaccarelli, the young infantrymen that one does not expect. Craxi mirrors Rinus Michels’ Ajax in Radice’s ideas, and hopes that the team, which can displease the Italian lawyer, will open a European cycle of unparalleled craftsmanship. It would be a heavy blow to the Old Lady’s supporters. Dream of international fame that also accompanies him politically: his PSI must lead the institutional community of the Old Continent.

Photo Craxi Foundation
Bettino Craxi triumphs with the bull flag (image courtesy of The Craxi Foundation)

But the Taurus cycle does not begin and the company takes an unexpected climb: after years of proud pride and honorable results, we see the opening of grenade heart purgatory in 1988. The President Mario Gerbi re-enlists Luigi Radice and frees him at the first difficulties. In his place, another seventh championship man who was so dear to Craxi, Claudio Sala, stepped out before total collapse. Series B, a sink, that convinces the socialist leaderformer President of the Council, to get the situation under control by the Achille Lauro Turinist, albeit in disguise.

He persuades his friend, the engineer and entrepreneur Gian Mauro Borsano, to take over the helm of the company and reciprocates during the 1992 election campaign with a future as an MP for the Italian Socialist Party. They reassembled the pieces into a story inspired by Valentino Mazzola and Gigi Radice, and sought dominance of the city against the Agnelli family. Many think so, but no one says it: Craxi is a kind of shadow president of the club. He chooses Fascetti for triumphant promotion to the top flight in 1989. He is urging the arrival of a young coach ready to marry the grenade quarter hour: Emiliano Mondonico.

Highly recommend buying from Carlos Pato Aguilera, acrobatic hero of Anfield of Genoa with whom he fell in love with football. The Genoese President at the time, Aldo Spinelli, took part in an interview to clarify the background 19th century:

«Aguilera also went to Turin under pressure from Craxi, who was close to President Borsano. I remember it Craxis call…».

Craxi and Berlusconi in the stands

In the book La Repubblica on the ball – football and politicians, an unrequited love by Fabio Belli and Marco Piccinelli (Rogas Edizioni, 2019), his external leadership is confirmed: «Craxi is doing something he has never done before: works behind the scenes for Taurus […] Craxi made a very wise choice for Borsano, who will enjoy an unusual public walkway in the newborn Delle Alpi stadium, symbol of Italia 90’s greatness and waste, side-by-side in the stands with the new President.

A photo that, apart from the power of the socialist leader, represents a kind of unlimited credit for the Presidentwho has just made his first-ever return to Serie A.”

revenge is coming The conspiracies and the greatness of the ruler are bearing the hoped-for results. Mondonicos Turin wins the UEFA Cup Final. Opponents are Craxis dream club, Louis van Gaal’s Ajax and Dennis Bergkamp. It was May 13, 1992. The Lanciers were 2-2 in the first leg of the Delle Alpi, but grenades kept hitting the opponents in the Olympic Stadium. Toro’s zeal was irregularly appeased by Frank de Boer in the penalty area: a clear foul on Cravero, the Slavic referee Zoran Petrovíc dropped it.

Emiliano Mondonico picks up a chair placed next to his bench in protest. The image is cinema bestowed on sport. The European dream ended in a ten thousand lire chair. Very different from listening to Mazzola’s motto. Very similar to what Craxi will be sitting on for the Mani Pulite interrogations. There, too, a dream of dominance that connects football and politics with a double knot will be shattered.

From Hammamet, a caged bull He will try to become a child again by kicking a ball with his nephew: Memory of Mazzola, Radice, the theft on Cravero. A mimesis of Guido Gozzano’s opera Torino steeped in deadly irony and ivory sadness.

And how often, on my nights
of exile, resupino outdoors,
Of course I dreamed of Turin evenings
Environment close to my heart, certain salons
very stupid, gossip, fanatic …

Cover picture: © Contrasti magazine

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