In a recent article for Curva e Calcio, I reflected on what it’s been like to be locked out of the Bentegodi for a year.
You can read the article in full and subscribe to Curva e Calcio at: https://curvaecalcio.substack.com, In the meantime, here's a little sneak preview.
To get a flavour of the impact of the stadium closure here in Verona, I spoke to some of those who have been hardest hit by the shutdown. Here’s a taste of what they had to say.
Claudio Franchini, a long-standing Curva regular who has followed his local team since his grandfather started taking him to the stadium as a young lad:
“I’ve watched some games at the pub, when Covid-restrictions allowed, and some other games I’ve just watched at home. But it’s just not the same. Nothing is quite like the Curva!”
Norrie MacLeod, Verona resident of Glaswegian origin:
“I’d rather watch an amateur team down the local park than El Classico on TV... the old adage that football is nothing without fans is the only undeniable fact. Nothing beats matchday. A couple of beers, everyone together and the atmosphere inside the stadium.”
Enrico Martelletto, co-owner of Iter, a behemoth sports and live music venue just yards from the stadium:
“Outside the pub, during the matches, we used to hear the roar and chants coming from the stadium… It was loud, uplifting, proud. Whether it was joy or disappointment, that noise reached us and lifted our own customers. Now everything is so sterile, silent, sanitised. Without an audience, everything has lost its fire and magic. Football belongs to the people. The result of the match is secondary.”
Finally, Matteo Fontana, the Gazzetto dello Sport’s football correspondent in Verona:
“Each player has responded differently to the lockdown. Some need the energy of the fans, whether they are supporting or opposing, while others are thriving without the pressure that fans bring”.
Remember you can read the article in full and subscribe to Curva e Calcio at: