Luca Vigiani, the winged horse, is still running

Luca Vigiani, the winged horse, is still running
Luca Vigiani, the winged horse, is still running
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My name is Agnes and I live in Livorno. I have a child, a mortgage, several dreams locked in the closet (they don’t fit in the drawer), so many strengths, just as many defects. Among these (strengths or weaknesses?), There is that I do not know how to shut up and this morning as soon as I wake up I felt the need to tell you a story. This story is about a girl who had a great passion, football. She was certainly not good with her feet, but her heart was pounding as she walked through the stadium gates. Armando Picchi of Livorno. Unthinkable that she was the one to practice it, but how excited she was when her favorite team scored goals. One day, she thought that what she really admired was not the sport itself but the people who were part of it. She suffered when a particular player did not take the field, she worried when a bad foul on her leg made them fear the worst.

Because, he thought, a team is not made up of numbers, but of men who had made sacrifices to wear the starting shirt. Not all alike, but that’s another story outside of sports. Those men had a family at home, a wife in love, an apprehensive mother, a strict father, a reckless brother. Just like me, they too had their own story. Livorno was not just a team of eleven players but a team held together by all the people who worked for it. Among them, a Florentine stood out, fast, stubborn, determined, silent, hardworking. Luca Vigianithis is his name, he arrived in Livorno together with the Coach Walter Mazzarri. We all know how it ended that year.

Fifty-five years of agony to return to Serie A, a season that had seen him among the protagonists in an absolute way. Winged horse Luca Vigiani, this is how the speaker presented him when he praised the formation before a match. Never was a nickname more appropriate: he really flew on the wing, he never spared himself and did what is called dirty work on the pitch. The name of him did not end up on the scoreboard but that of whoever put the ball on the net. It’s football, that’s it. But inside me I knew that it was also his credit and what a joy it was when he was the one who scored a goal. But I wanted him to know that there was someone who didn’t ask their parents to buy him the shirt Igor Protti or Cristiano Lucarelli, on my shoulders I wanted to wear his name because for me it represented exactly what I wanted to become. For me he was an example of resilience, of sacrifice, a man who longed for glory built through hard work.

I remember that I gave him a stuffed animal, a winged horse that was not easy to find at the time; I called all the toy shops present in Livorno, Pisa, Cecina. He used to play Reggio Calabria and I delivered it to him in a daring way, taking advantage of his team’s trips to Tuscany. I was waiting all year Empoli- Reggina just to be able to meet him and shake his hand. I wanted him to keep knowing I was there. I was not a fan, I have never been and I will never define myself as such. Have you ever had respect for a person? If this has happened to you then you can understand word for word all that I have lived and am still living.

And here we are today, almost twenty years more and yet, I am still here, writing on paper the emotions that I experienced on Sunday at the Bologna stadium. I couldn’t miss his first match as a manager in Serie A. He was in charge and I don’t know how much I shouted from the stands for his team to win. The fatigue of four hundred kilometers in one day completely vanished from the pride I felt in being there to cheer for him. It may seem all very exaggerated and difficult to understand, but for those who love this sport it should be obvious what I’m telling you. I firmly believe that football is all that is not seen.

Football is the bitterness that reigns in the locker room following a defeat. Football is the anxiety in waiting for the call-up between the owners. Football is the family that awaits you at home and supports you. Football is touring Italy condemning oneself to a nomadic life. Football is not a sports car parked outside the training pitch. Football is a person who has given everything and cannot expect to receive nothing back.

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I am here to tell you that he deserves everything he built, that the people who yelled his name yesterday in the stands are the reward for he deserves; it is not the victory itself, I would have said the same thing if it had gone differently. But it wasn’t like that because he could only go that way. Yesterday I also saw him on the pitch, yesterday I saw Luca Vigiani who a Como, way back in March 2004, he scored the 4-3 in the final minutes of injury after running full kilometers on that field. I’m talking about strong emotions. I’m talking about the football that I like, about the people who don’t do it for the money but because they can’t do otherwise. And finally I speak of a splendid family, his, who understood that mine was not an adolescent fixation or a whim dictated by a momentary crush but simply a certificate of esteem for those who really love football.

I always tell my son one thing: whatever you decide to do in life, whether it’s a baker, a dancer or an engineer, it will be fine for me as long as you do it seriously. As did Luca Vigiani. I consider myself lucky to have the affection of him and his loved ones. In the embrace that yesterday I managed to give him and his wife there was all this; but despite this it was not enough for me and that is why I am here to write to you today. I have no particular intention other than to show you this man in a different light, which you may not have known. Football is made up of many people and he is one of them. This story, his story, therefore deserved to be told. And what I tell you to do, I’m sure we are just at the beginning.

Greetings from Livorno,


The article is in Italian

Tags: Luca Vigiani winged horse running

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