Lucia Annunziata at PostGlobal

Lucia Annunziata


Lucia Annunziata, a columnist for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, has covered Latin America, Central America, the United States and the Middle East. She was president of RAI, National Public Television, a position she resigned in May 2004 to protest Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conflict of interest. Close.

Lucia Annunziata


Lucia Annunziata, a columnist for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, has covered Latin America, Central America, the United States and the Middle East. more »

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Soccer and the Quirks of Nations

Italy -- Every twist, turn and bent ankle on the field seems to mirror one national debate, trauma or preoccupation after another. That's the secret of the World Cup's success - each team completely mirrors the outstanding (or even disgusting) characteristics of the nation it represents.

Take the French. No sooner did their team begin to flounder (and not having the United States to blame) that they began to ask whether the team was, well, not French enough - too much like the country itself, what with all those immigrants; too many noirs, said one commentator rather undiplomatically.

The Germans looked pained while shouldering the burden of a mediocre team, much in the way they complain about the costs of reunification. Yet, they are doing quite well, danke, though they remain upset that an American beer (named after a Czech city) is the official World Cup brew. Does globalization know no bounds?

England chimed in with the last of its post-imperial delusions - that it is a football power, even though its team has not won a World Cup in 40 years, almost as long as Charles courted Camilla.

A special thanks to Serbia and Montenegro for reminding us of the great failure of European foreign policy in the 1990s - the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia. Serbia and Montenegro is the first country that no longer exists ever to be represented in the World Cup - Montenegro having voted to secede last month. No wonder the Serbs lost six-zero to Argentina. Half the country was missing.

Italy played out a perfect copy of its relations with the United States. First, the 'Azzurri' scored. Then as if we had been impolite to our dear ally, scored the Americans' goal, too. Isn't this an Italian specialty?

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