|By Kevin Devlin
Italy wins the World Cup against France to the delight of many South Bostonians
On July 9, 2006, at Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany, Italy defeated France in the World Cup Championship. After playing to a 1-1 tie in regulation play, neither team could score upon the opposing goalie in the two fifteen-minute overtime periods. And so it came down to the heart-wrenching “Shootout” in which Italy would come out on top 5-3. It was a dramatic way to end the quest for the 2006 title and it pleased many Italian-Americans in Southie.
Here are just a handful of comments by local soccer lovers about Italy’s spectacular victory:
“Italy has always been a world-class soccer country since the World Cup began in 1930. Their last loss in the championship game came in 1982, but they now have more World Cup titles than any other European country. Congratulations to the Italian team and country. Viva Italia!” Sal Paterna
“I told everyone that Italy was going to win the World Cup. All the soccer experts were talking about Brazil and Germany, but I knew that Italy would come through in the end and win it all. It was a tremendous game and the better team went home as world champions.” Guy Mirisola
“Forget about it. It’s the greatest, just incredible. But now, let’s eat, drink, and celebrate the victory.” Steve “Rocca” Costigliola
“I really, seriously don’t like the shootout at all. We’ve had our share of participation in games that ended with the shootout and we were eliminated. Italy was eliminated in 90, 94, and in 98 in the shootout (in the World Cup and in the European Championships) and now it was our turn to win by it. I have played and followed soccer since I was a kid. I was only four years old when Italy lost in the Cup Finals in 1982, but this one is special, something I can’t explain, but really special.” Sal LoGrasso
“This is an unbelievable win for the Italian team and nation. Brazil has won five titles, and now Italy has four titles, and that’s more titles than any other European team. It’s special.” Joey Paterna
“I feel great. It’s as if a ton of bricks has been lifted off of my chest. It’s a natural high the way I feel right now. It was a great game, and I’m glad we were able to pull it off in the end. Those shootouts can really test your nerves.” Sal Mirisola
“Too bad it went to penalty kicks Viva La France.” Robert (The Frenchman) Burkett
“Anytime you can be recognized as a World Cup champion in the really only universal sport, that’s truly special. I feel good for my father who has experienced a lot of heartbreak watching Italy lose in the finals of the World Cup. Now we are champions. And, I will tell you, if we had lost, I could have accepted it, lost to anyone but the French that is, but we didn’t. It’s a great day to be Italian!” Charlie LoGrasso
“Yes, it’s a great day to be Italian.” Franny Coughlin Jr.
“We win another one. And as the saying goes in Gaelic-TiocFaidh Ar La-Our Day will come.” Yader (of Irish-Italian descent) Spadaccini