If you are married to an Italian, football is part of the package or so I believed. My luck would be to find one of the few Neapolitans who is not crazy about soccer. The situation drastically changed when my son was hit by football fever the day we moved to Madrid. He was aged four!!!
I know more about football than I care to admit, but I know even more about the players and the gossip that goes with it. Spanish football differs from the Italian version; Spaniards are as interested in the personalities as they are in the sport. This means, we women can take part in the conversation too! Calcio in Italy is for men only and it's about the sport and their team's players. Never mind all the TV channels have a beautiful "veline" (showgirls) presiding the panel of commentators. It's just eye-candy! Boy, does that bug me.
My Italo-Argentinean son has taught our family everything we know about football, we follow the important matches, we exchange the Panini stickers with everyone who will join the fun, we have painted fan signs and bargained for tickets to the stadium.
It starts getting a wee bit complicated when you're a Third Culture Kid. Italy, Argentina, Napoli, Real Madrid - who do we root for? Switzerland is where my heart lays, but I'll keep that to myself. They are better at skiing!!!
Last Saturday the match of all matches was to be played. Real Madrid's showdown against Club Atlético de Madrid in Lisbon was the seventh UEFA Champions League final. A Madrilenian derby!
We invited all our Italo-Franco-Spanish friends over for jamon and vino and kitted our place with Real Madrid paraphernalia. We ate, we drank, we screamed, we roared, we cried and we laughed. The neighbours in our house were wondering what the hell was going on.
Some of us were more passionate about football than others but in end ... all that mattered ... was that we were together. Because that's what you do at home in our respective countries: you gather as a family to enjoy each others company while supporting your beloved team. It's a family thing!