Was football fascist? The 1934 World Cup in the postwar memory

Nicola Sbetti, Daniele Serapiglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The 1934 World Cup helped project the global image of fascist Italy. After the victory of the Azzurri, many protagonists of this event entered the mass-media imagery as icons of the Mussolini regime and as prototypes of the fascist ‘New Man’. Paradoxically, their status as national heroes came out unscathed from the fascist period, and many of the players continued to be viewed as paradigms of virtue even after the Second World War. Likewise, symbols of the 1934 World Cup survived the end of the fascist regime. The aim of this article is to analyse how the memory of the first Italian World Cup evolved after the fall of the fascist regime. Specifically, we will first focus on memory of the 1934 World Cup in the years immediately after the end of the War. We will then look at the years around Italy 1990 and finally bring out some revelations identified in the national football museum in Florence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSoccer and Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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