Passione Azzurra

Italy vs. Belgium – a family feud!

Sergio, living in Belgium with Italian roots, tells us the story of his love for the Azzurri, his Belgium-supporting girlfriend and son as ref!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Italy vs. Belgium – a family feud!

We’re publishing the story of Sergio Cafini, a police officer with Italian roots living in Antwerp, Belgium.

Since I also have Belgian blood in me, from my mother’s side, it’s always fun when the Azzurri confront the Red Devils during international football matches.

Together with my Belgian girlfriend, we have a six-year-old son, and it’s always a fun struggle as to which jersey he has to wear when Italy play against Belgium. 

During the Euro 2016 we posted a fun family picture on Facebook when Italy played and won against Belgium. My son, who was then two, didn’t really understand what was going on!

Now during Euro 2020, Italy again confronted and beat the Red Devils! We watched the game at my brother-in-law’s place on a big screen. I was the only one in a beautiful Azzurri-blue shirt, surrounded by all Red Devil supporters. A new picture had to be taken, and my son, now six, had to referee between his parents. 

Being an Italian with semi-Belgian roots creates a fun way to show some pride for the Azzurri during international tournaments.

My father was born and raised in Pescara Del Tronto, in Marche. I’ve been there on holiday several times but that was years ago. Once you get older and the time passes by you don’t get to visit these parts any more. It was even destroyed during the heavy earthquake in 2016. When I was a little boy I remember that we always visited Ascoli Piceno, a very nice town which has the same allure as any other beautiful town in the Tuscany region.  So today, our visits to Italy are only during summer vacation to Lake Garda, an annual city trip to Rome, and a ski vacation in Livigno. 

My first memory of the National Team I can recall was during the 1990 World Cup. I went with my parents to Italy for vacation and visited some stadiums. I remember I stood in front of San Siro, and believe me, this stadium is huge, especially for a ten-year-old boy. I remember when we were in Rome visiting my uncle who lived there, every building had Italian and Azzurri flags, and the streets were packed.  Every five minutes the song ‘Un’estate italiana’ was played on the radio. I remember we lost against Argentina in the semi-finals and that Totò Schillaci, unknown to many at the start of the tournament, ended up as Italia ‘90’s top goalscorer. My son is a huge fan of Lorenzo Insigne because his favourite number is ten, and Federico Chiesa as well since he plays for Juventus.

This year I saw the final during vacation in the south of France. As the only Italian on the campsite it was an awesome night because all the French were supporting England. Though I did get some support for the Azzurri from the Dutch and Belgians. When Donnarumma stopped the last penalty, it was a very sweet victory.