Pro Soccer Player Scores A Goal And Runs To Hug His Grandma, But Not For The Reason You’d Expect

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Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi scored a goal in front of his grandmother during the very first match she’d ever seen him play in. And when I say ‘very first match’ I mean the very first match she’d seen him play in at any point in his life, like she didn’t even come out to see her grandson play as a child. So he scores the second goal of the match and runs into the stands to give his grandma a big ol’ hug, gets a yellow card from the referee because soccer refs are awful people and hate fun, and then things get back to normal…kind of. You’d think that reason he ran into the stands to hug his grandmother was to celebrate, but nah, it’s because she was fucking pissed off at her grandson for being a little asshole and scoring goals against her favorite team. The backstory behind this is actually hilarious, but first let’s watch the goal/hug:

Italian player for AS ROMA, Alessandro Florenzi celebrates his goal against Cagliari, going in the middle of the fans to hug and kiss his grandmother.

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If you didn’t know any of the history here you’d just think this was a nice moment between an old woman and her grandson, but as I said before it’s actually quite hilarious. This comment on Reddit from ‘shbooms‘ provides the best explanation I’ve seen yet as to what’s going on here:

Context:
Florenzi’s (the Roma player) Grandmother is (apparently?) a Lazio fan. With the the Roma-Lazio rivarly being one of the fiercest in the Europe this wouldn’t surprise me too much.
In the late 20’s when Serie A first began, Mussolini wanted a single club to unite Rome as he sought to take the footballing dominance away from the much better teams in the North (Pro Vercilli, Milan, Inter, Juventus, Genoa, Torino, etc.) and make Rome the capital not only of the country but of the culture. Through out the early days of the game in Italy the south had long been inferior when it came to football and the distribution of teams good enough to play in Serie A at the beginning is a good representation of this.
Roma AS was formed by merging three of the four biggest teams in Rome as one team, Lazio, refused to comply. Since then Roma has always been the more glamorous, favored team with more money, a better stadium(until ’53 when they both moved into the Stadio Olimpico /u/ovi_left_faceoff), etc. and Lazio fans remain very proud of their independence. Over the years the dividing lines between the two sets of fans has grown very big and very emtional. The white-collar, predominantly left wing Roma fans see the blue-collar, mainly right wing Lazio fans as “dirty peasants” who are uneducated and simple. Lazio see Roma supporters as pompous, silver-spoon-sucking assholes.
This isn’t Red Sox-Yankees where two fan bases whose members live 5 hrs away from each other, are too broad socially and culturally to really invoke similar feelings and the majority of whom will make it to a game against the other once or twice in their lives. This is two culturally, politically and ideologically different classes of people all having lived in the same city where tensions have been erupting for 3 generations.
With Roma-Lazio you also have the isolation-factor that fuels the tensions. That is, neither team has been very successful in Italy (3 titles for Roma, 2 for Lazio over the last 86 years) let alone in Europe so the games against each other have become that much more important.
I don’t know much more outside of that about Grandma Floerenzi and her apparent refusal to ever have watched Alessandro play before this (it was the beginning of last season so he had spent a total of 12 years at the club, 3 of which were with the senior team). It would not surprise me that she, having been born around the time this all started, would stick to her guns and refuse to support Roma under any circumstance.

So what appears to be a grandson sharing a special moment with his the matriarch of his family is actually a little boy groveling for respect from his ‘nonna’. She’s such a massive Cagliari fan that she’s not even willing to watch her grandson play for the other team nor is she able to root for him. And here I thought that the ‘Yankees v. Mets’ feud in NYC ran pretty deep, it’s got NOTHING on this.

EDIT: Someone pointed out on Twitter that this was from a match last year and to that person I’d like to say one thing ‘do you really think I follow or give a shit about Italian soccer?’

[Reddit]