Juventus with a grenade heart

Publish date 29-10-2020

by Simone Bernardi

From the second half of the nineteenth century to the present day, tens of millions of Italians have left the peninsula to seek hope and fortune abroad, especially in the Americas. Wherever they went, Italians left their mark: the name of a neighborhood, a typical dish and also ... a football team. Yes, around the world there are dozens of football teams founded by Italian emigrants, on the other hand, nothing better than a team to cheer on to strengthen a community.

In Brazil, one of the countries that welcomed us most (even during the worst epidemics and pandemics in history), Italians founded sports clubs that are still today among the "most Italian" foreign clubs there are. Two examples: the Palmeiras and the Cruzeiro. Born with the specific intent of providing the large Italian communities - respectively, of São Paulo and Belo Horizonte - with a football team, they were both called "Palestra Itália", but when, in 1942, Brazil sided with the Allies , they were forced to change and nationalize their name.

In the case of Palmeiras, the red and the letter "I" also disappeared from the emblem, but the "P" and the white and green colors remained, which still characterize the visual identity of the Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras today. But there is another team, less famous, but certainly very particular, which will make smile or perhaps turn up their noses to the most "purist" lovers of Italian football and, in particular, to the supporters of the two Turin football clubs: it is of the historic Clube Atlético Juventus that unites - hear, hear! - the name of Juventus in the garnet colors of Turin.
Also known as Juventus da Mooca, it was founded in 1924 by some employees and managers of Cotonificio Crespi, a textile industry in the Mooca district - still today a very Italian bairro in San Paolo.

The Mooquense tradition (and we of the Arsenale della Speranza understand a bit of it, because we live a few steps from the historic headquarters of the Club) says that their boss, the knight of labor Rodolfo Crespi, was a Juventus fan, from here, the idea of ​​the name ... but when it came to choosing the colors of the club, the founders found themselves in an impasse: in Sao Paulo and Brazil there were already numerous black and white striped teams - such as Corinthians, Santos , Atlético Mineiro and many others - and then they opted for a daring solution: to use the color of the other team from Turin. The very strange combination of name and colors has led to unprecedented consequences, such as the sign, still hanging today at the entrance to the old stadium, with which the "Juventus family" warns that Juventus shirts are prohibited at the stadium. To the fervent supporters of the so fashionable doctrines of preservation and reacquisition of original identities, we strongly recommend taking a trip out of town, perhaps on a Sunday, in these parts, while this "very Italian" fan, dressed in grenades, yells at the top of their lungs: "Come on magical Juve "

Simone Bernardi
NP august-september 2020

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