Apr 8, 2020
Dafne Viaggi

GENOA – history of the first Italian football team

Let’s go back in time … exactly in 1892, 400 years since the discovery of America, when a great exhibition was organized in Genova.

For the occasion great works were done, among which the construction of a funicular connecting the different exhibition areas and some restaurants. The most luxurious restaurant had the shape of a 20 meters high egg, the so-called Egg of Columbus, from which perhaps the famous genoese architect Renzo Piano drew inspiration to realize one hundred years later “the Biosphere”, the large container of animals and exotic plants located in the Old Port Area adjacent to the Acquario.
The great expansion of port activities in those years was able to arouse the attention of large commercial companies, especially English ones.
The British community in Genova increased in number in those years and introduced the practice of Anglo-Saxon traditional sports, such as water polo, cricket and football.
A fateful and “Sacred” day for all Genoans (the fans of the Genoa football team), on September 7 1893, at the British consulate in Genova, a group of British citizens connected to the city by working relationships, founded the Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club.
The club, initially restricted to English citizens only, was enlarged with the registration of the first Genoese man, thanks to the intervention of the “Founding Father” Dr. Richardson Spensley, who renamed the club: Genoa Cricket and Football Club which gave a fundamental contribution to the organization of the first championship in 1898.
These pioneers, as the sports reporter Gianni Brera wrote, played “with the outfits of gentlemen. They played football wearing a cup (the cap)… instead of a t-shirt, they wore a shirt with an inverted lapel and long sleeves. The trousers were flared below the knee and went into the socks. The shoes were heavy and imposing… the tool to be kicked was made of pieces of leather sewn together and equipped with a mouth in which you put the rubber bladder”.
In Genova, in the Old Port Area, a few steps from the Acquario and the characteristic Old Town, there is the Museum of the History of Genoa.

The visit, as explained on the museum’s website, is articulated along a thematic and chronological path, which combines sport, culture and society. Various interactive and multimedia solutions offer a whirlwind of emotions, among more than 500 relics, trophies, documents and photographs, through two centuries of history.
Inside the ten rooms, you will find unique items such as the ball used in the first championship.

 

written by Valter Bennucci (Dafne Viaggi)

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