Ivone De Franceschi was an italian footballer (soccer player) that played for my team, Sporting Clube de Portugal, between 1999 and 2000. He’s now retired due to a heart condition discovered in 2007.

He was the first italian player to play in the Portuguese championship and led Sporting to a very sought after champioship title. The first in 18 years.

He wasn’t exceptional. Not like Cristiano Ronaldo or Luis Figo, both Sporting players. But he had his greatest year in the club and showed the tenacity and consistency loved by the fans.

I was only a boy, but even then I was in love with all things italian, so I loved De Franceschi. I love him even more now, after he compared Sporting to my beloved Juventus.

It felt good to see in back in our stadium, with his baby boy. It took me back to my teenage years. And that was a very good period.

But the reason behind this post is not only related to Ivone. It’s more of a statement, applicable to all Italians.

In this short film, part of a campaign for the club’s current season, De franceschi was interviewed and asked about the feeling of playing for Sporting.

Oddly enough, or maybe not, his first recollection was the way he was dressed when he greeted the journalists and fans in the airport. He remembered exactly what he had put on and his concern was to look as stylish as possible.

Can you get more Italian than that?

Conclusion: you can always spot an Italian!