Glory #11 - Cagliari

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Glory #11 - Cagliari

Una terra. Un popolo. Una squadra. Forza Casteddu.

Cagliari. The city that represents an island nation, within a nation.

In this issue we speak exclusively with Sardinia’s most famous footballing export – the man chosen to fill the boots of Diego Maradona at Napoli – Gianfranco Zola.

We sit down with the man who made that decision, Claudio Ranieri. Who discusses starting his coaching career in Sardinia and returning to the island having achieved success on the Italian mainland, in Spain, France and famously winning the English Premier League with Leicester City.

Ranieri’s return to the club was brought about by club President Tommaso Giulini. We sit down with him to discuss the realities of life in charge of a club which means so much to so many. Giulini is also a fierce critic of the European Super League plans, so we also discuss the future of football at the highest levels and how clubs like Cagliari can dream. 

We chat to the current crop of players, plying their trade under the Rossoblù’s ‘Mister’ including Gianluca Lapadula, Zito Luvumbo and Nahitan Nández, who is continuing a long and storied history of Uruguayan footballers the city has taken to its heart.

One of those Uruguayans, Zinedine Zidane’s football idol, Enzo Francescoli, chats exclusively to Glory, as Seth Dooley investigates that link and the pervasive ‘Garra’ spirit the two people and places share.

Nargiz Mammadzada tells the story of Cagliari’s Scudetto triumph in 1970, the first time Serie A had been won by a team outside the country’s wealthy northern powerhouse. Franco Ficetola profiles the star of that side Gigi Riva, a legend in the city and Italy’s leading national team goalscorer to this day. Gigi’s son Nicola also writes remembering his dad. 

Ben Thomas recalls Cagliari’s exploits on the European stage and their run to the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 1993-94 and speaks exclusively to Italy international Gianfranco Matteoli, star of that team and now Head of Youth at the club. There’s also the story of how Cagliari jetted off to the United States in the 1960s to play Wolves, Sunderland, ADO Den Haag and Dundee United among others under the moniker; the Chicago Mustangs.

iFan, author and former DJ Francesco Abate explores the city’s relationship with football, the island and Italy, as well as how, when you support a team like Cagliari, the game and life seamlessly intertwine. He also recalls the visit of England and their fans during Italia 90.

Talking of that summer, Massimiliano Macuso profiles Cagliari’s former home, and England’s group stage host, the iconic Sant’Elia. Vitas Carosella provides a rundown of Casteddu’s, hopefully temporary, Unipol Domus home.

Then there are the regular features, exploring this unique place, it’s culture and it’s football. Finally, we showcase some of the best places to stay, eat and drink when you make your own trip to this wonderful island in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

About Glory:

Glory is a high-end football and travel publication, aiming to put the ‘beautiful’ back into the beautiful game. We travel the world documenting alternative football cultures including the most remote, exotic and unusual destinations.

Glory are a team of award-winning designers, writers and photographers with a shared passion for football. We wanted to explore the game beyond the elite leagues – there are countless nations where die-hard fans pack remote, windswept stadia or watch their national teams scrap for the honour of a place in the FIFA top 100. We look beyond the money, the glamour and the trophies to find the real Glory of football.

We’ve appeared on TalkSport, the hallowed Soccer AM table and sold issues in over 70 countries.