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Florence Calcio – the most violent kind of football

Who is the toughest player in the history of world football? Here, as in the saying – “how many people, so many opinions.” Someone will recall the Spaniard Andoni Goicochea, who bore the characteristic nickname “The Butcher of Bilbao”. It was he who in September 1983 inflicted a serious injury to Diego Maradona, because of which he was forced to miss half of the season. Other fans may recall Wales player Winnie Jones, who was removed from the field 12 times during his career.

Moreover, in one of the matches already at the 3rd second after appearing on the field. But even these football hullingas could be lost in the match for the Florentine football – the most brutal of all ball games. This game is much older than its fellow football, the rules of which were officially approved only in 1863. But the first written treatise on the Florentine football, or, as it is called at home, the “Florentine Calcho”, dates back to the 14th century, when a certain Antonio Skayano wrote “A Treatise on the Ball Game”. It contained tips on resolving controversial episodes during the game.

What is the meaning of the game? On the field, about 100 meters by 50 meters, there are two teams, each of which has 27 people, moreover, 15 of them are forwards. Behind them are 5 midfielders, then 4 players of a strange role – assistants of midfielders. In defense – 3 defenders. After the referee gave the signal to start the match, a real battle takes place on the field. In a game resembling a mixture of football and rugby, it is allowed to use fighting and fist fighting techniques, to push the opponent with elbows and even stop them with a choke technique. There are, however, some restrictions – it is impossible, for example, you can’t kick your head into your head and hit sneakily. It is also forbidden to multiple players to attack one opponent. Violators removed from the field.

Players need to score the ball in the net, stretched across the entire width at the edge of the opponent’s field. After each successful attack, teams change sides. Currently, there are physicians at the match who help the injured during the game. Since substitutions are not permitted, the retired player significantly weakens his team. Usually four teams take part in the tournament, representing the four historic quarters of Florence. With the help of lots they were divided into two pairs, and the winners of these matches met in the final, which was held invariably on June 24, when the holiday of the patron saint of Florence, St. John the Baptist, is celebrated. The decisive meeting is preceded by a grand parade, after which the audience goes to the stands. The meeting lasts 50 minutes, and the winning team bears the title of champion for a whole year – until the next tournament. In this sport there are no professionals, therefore, even the winners cannot count on big prizes – most often they get only a free festive dinner.

Although, in the old days, a purebred cow was presented as a gift. Once the Florentine football was the privilege of the nobles, but since there were too many injured, they began to attract strong men from the common people. One of the most stellar players in the Florentine football was Alessandro Ottaviano de Medici, shortly before his death, he became the head of the Roman Catholic Church under the name Leo XI.

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