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When you read a lot of sporting history books, as I do, there are regularly excerpts from contemporary judges of events. Sometimes, for context, these are still extant news sources (“The Guardian would not think that now, of course”) but equally, especially in cricket, there seems to be a history of poetry. Quite why some of these verses have survived, or how, is another matter but it certainly seems that poets have been recording sport as reporting as well as the morning ethereal ideas for time immemorial. That style of poetry is what I had in mind when I wrote this, inspired by what I saw and read researching this piece about Sampdoria, so think of this as something that might sit in a Victorian newspaper, if they have still been doing it in 1990, in Italy.  

Vialli one, Vialli two, is how the cup was won.

Mancini’s play is faultless, his touch is that of gold,
Glittering passes and glimmering shots, ideas yet untold,
He cannot be the hero, he does not have the drive,
He plants the seeds and tends the plants, so other players thrive.

Vialli one, Vialli two, is how the cup was won.

Lombardo is a dynamo, his pate belying skills,
A bag inside a box of tricks, of otherworldly thrills,
He cannot be the hero, he plays too near the edge,
He serves the meals the others eat, with forceful privilege,

Vialli one, Vialli two, is how the cup was won.

Pagliuca is a marvel, as human as he’s wall,
Magnetic hands he has as well, to stick onto the ball,
He cannot be the hero, he doesn’t build but breaks,
He shuts the door behind the team and doesn’t make mistakes,

Vialli one, Vialli two, is how the cup was won.

Vialli is the hero, Vialli is the king,
He scores the goals, he wins the games, he can do anything,
He has to be the hero, the fates declared it thus,
With two more in the final and Samp victorious,

Vialli one, Vialli two, was how the cup was won.

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