By Tim Parks, in the July 18, 2002, issue of The New York Review of Books:
‘Rarely articulated in the media, the "insular" attitudes that inspired the English FA in the early part of the century are still thriving, and nowhere more so than in Italy, whose sense of nationhood often seems to depend more on a series of ancient internal quarrels between erstwhile city-states than on any sense of imposing itself on the world around it. In this regard the country is not unlike those families who are immediately recognizable as such because they are so intensely engaged in arguing with each other. In his speech to the nation at New Year's, the Italian president, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, spoke of "Italy, land of a hundred cities, that unites love of my home town with love of my country and love of Europe."
'On the Web site of Hellas Verona, the soccer club of the small town where I live, a fan signing himself Dany-for-Hell@s chose to respond in decidedly football terms with a list of all the opposing teams any Hellas fan necessarily hates: "Italian unity = Roma merda, Inter merda, Juventus merda, Milan merda, Napoli merda, Vicenza merda, Lecce merda. Need I go on?"’