“For instance, people born in the Santo Spirito quarter, during the Second World War, have shared terrible moments together, have helped themselves, have fought the hunger together and they have rebuilt the quarter, after the bombings, brick by brick together.”
“There is something which goes beyond the mere friendship, we are dealing with values of brotherhood and family,” di Puccio said. “During any Calcio Storico game, there are at least 5,000 to 7,000 people who come there just for you, supporting you with chants.”
“I have always played rugby with almost no spectator cheering me on, if you start playing Calcio Storico, you become a local hero, with people asking you photos and autographs,” he said.
“The main sport played by the participants of the game are Rugby and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) nowadays. The football and rugby schemes were notable during any game, the ball was passed fast in order to score as many goals as possible.”
“Nowadays, it’s getting more static and flat, with the central row of kickers sparring and punching in order to dismantle the opponents team, trying to score with a personal action but being careful of not losing possession avoiding, a counter attack at any cost.”
“There is a growing athleticism and dynamism in the sport, which characterises players of any team,” di Puccio told us. “For instance many players are now MMAs fighter, boxers or a Greco-Roman wrestlers.”
“In my days, there was nothing but an ethical code, any strike was literally allowed, two against one or even three against one was allowed” he said.
“The only existing rule was when the referee stopped the game, caught the ball then waited until he threw the ball again in the air, which meant that game was resumed.”
However di Puccio said times have changed: “During the 1990s regulation were impose to prevent the players sustaining fatal injuries. I have always wondered how a tragic fatality had never happened.”
He admits sometimes, they have come close: “In one match, I was kicked very hard in the head while I was lying on the floor, I still don’t realise how I could not have been seriously injured.”
“Historic football is only possible in a peaceful town like Florence, which is stranger to violence down the streets and underworld episodes. We fight each other in the arena, unleashing everything we have inside but after that we are friends.”
You can judge for yourself – this video is the 2016 final played between the Blue team and the White team.