World Cup 2018: Bar Italia fans ‘crying into their cappuccinos’
15 June, 2018 — By The Xtra Diary
AS the World Cup gets under way Diary recalls a night of wonderful exuberance back in the summer of 2006, when the Italian national football team scooped their fourth World Cup triumph by beating France on penalties in Berlin.
The streets of Soho were packed with blue shirts, red white and green face-paints, and the raucous sound of Italian Londoners pouring out their passion.
At the centre of the celebrations was Bar Italia in Greek Street, which had become a mecca for fans congregating to cheer their team on.
Sadly we hear the staff have been crying into their cappuccinos this week as the rest of London’s international tribes gear up for the start of the football festival, and it’s been made worse by the dawning realisation this giant among footballing nations won’t be there.
One member of staff said: “We were putting up the flags of all the nations and we looked along the string of bunting, deciding to put the Italian flag prominently in the window… until, of course, we looked at each other and remembered we wouldn’t be there.”
Italy’s failure to qualify gives Diary a heavy heart, too – something is just not right about a World Cup without the Azzurri…