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Calcio Fiorentino - historical football for real men
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Calcio Fiorentino – historical football for real men

Many fans criticize modern football for the fact that it has evolved from the sport of real men to the competition of cherished millionaires, who fall and writhe from the pain of any adversary touching them, or even without him. However, there are more brutal versions of this game in the world, for example, the historic Florentine Calcio (Calcio Fiorentino).

Every summer in June and July, residents of Florence gather at one of the central squares of the Old City to witness one of the most amazing sporting events of our times. At this time, four teams representing the four historic quarters of the city play with each other in Calcio Fiorentino – a game that is a distant ancestor of modern football and rugby, but also includes elements of boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts.

Each team has 27 people, 15 of whom are forwards. Moreover, the word “attack” in this case is not quite equivalent to itself in ordinary football. After all, the goal of these players is not only to bring the ball into the opponents’ goal, but also in every possible way to prevent the breakdown of their attacks by players from other teams.

Bruises, bruises and blood – this is the smallest thing that can happen to a player during a match in Calcio Fiorentino. Often, the participants of these competitions can not leave the playing field on their own – with broken limbs, sometimes unconscious carried off on a stretcher. Against this background, Zinedine Zidane’s historic blow with his head into Marco Materazzi’s chest seems like a childish prank!

Add to all of this the fact that instead of the standard football uniforms, players in the Florentine Calcho use colorful medieval costumes, including striped trousers. And as a prize for a victory, the winning team receives not a cup, but a young calf, which it immediately roasts and eats, sharing a trophy with the fans.

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