The marvellous Toro

Manlio Cancogni

€ 9,00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Collection: Varia
Pages: 80
ISBN/EAN: 978-88-6052-426-3

Italy, 1946. The traces of the war are still deep, but there is an air of joy in Italy because after so much horror the nation discovers that it’s still alive and wants to start again. And the Toro, the great Toro football team, captained by Valentino Mazzola, is one of the symbols of that ferment.

Able to unleash wild enthusiasm and intense passion: exactly what pushes the thirty year old reporter Manlio Cancogni to ride his bike for 130 kilometres from Fiumetto to Ardenza and back again to see the Turin team of marvels play, Toro, the greatest team ever seen. Leghorn vs. Turin: zero to 3. Unforgettable. And that bike ride today is the occasion for the author, a passionate football fan, to re-evoke post-war Italy: the silence and the solitude of Pisa, wounded by bombs, the American base, the prison camp in Tombolo filled with Germans and Leghorn’s devastated old city centre in contrast to the roars from the stadium where the Turin team, with its incredible feats, succeeds in making everyone forget all the misery. Then the Rome years, when Cancogni works at the weekly Mondo d’Oggi along with Giorgio Bassani, the director, Carlo Laurenzi and the painter Valentino, and when the office closes, all of them go to the Villa Borghese to kick around a soccer ball with the neighbourhood guys.

A story where life and soccer are interwoven and one becomes the mirror of the other narrating an Italy that no longer exists. A world made of good guys, well-mannered young men who don’t act like stars. A world where eleven players, great men and great champions, are so content to be together that they stay together until the end: Superga, 4 May 1949. And they become legend.

The author
Manlio Cancogni was born in Bologna in 1916. After a brief period teaching philosophy, he began his career as a journalist and writer. He has worked for the most important Italian papers, among which the Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, L’Europeo, l’Espresso. From the Sixties to the Eighties he was given numerous literary acknowledgements like the Strega Prize in 1973 for the novel Allegri, gioventù and the Viareggio Prize in 1985 for Quella strana felicità. In 2010 he was awarded by the Italian Pen Club.

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