I’m British but I love Italian football. Which team should I support?

27 September

Fiorentina. Florence is a one-team city, which gives the place a very particular flavour. Sure, they don’t have the firepower of a Juventus, but they do have a very good coach in Paulo Sousa. Under him, Fiorentina play attack-minded football with some really exciting players, such as the Croatian striker Nicola Kalinic and Federico Bernadeschi – a forward who’s considered by many to be one of the great young hopes of Italian football. Last season they even stuffed Milan 4-0 in the San Siro.

The Stadio Artemio Franchi is beautiful. It was built in the 1950s and it’s now an architecturally listed building. The designer was Pier Luigi Nervi who built the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican, and the fans create a great atmosphere there. Indeed, the Fiorentina fans take their football very seriously, sometimes too seriously.

One lighthearted indication - When Pope Francis last autumn visited Florence on a pastoral visit, it was announced that he would be celebrating an open air mass in the Franchi, to which the Fiorentina fans replied, ‘What a privilege for Pope Francis: He gets to say mass in our stadium!’

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