22 February 2012


The weekend just gone marked a seminal moment in the history of The Seagull Love Review. Of course Albion fans will remember it as the weekend when we broke FA Cup history in conceding a lot of own goals during a single match but here we did have something to celebrate. Former TSLR contributor and Irish obsessive Glory Boy hooked us up with a ticket to watch a film as part of the 5th European Documentary Film Festival at the Italian Cultural Institute in London which featured a Q&A with 1982 World Cup winning and goalscoring (not to mention celebrating) as well as Irish assistant managing legend, Marco Tardelli (pictured above grappling his favourite fanzine).
A stylish Italian documentary made by a couple of achitects - The Rimet Trophy - was shown and took the audience through the lifespan of the original World Cup trophy. Way back from its French inception in 1930 through various tournaments and WWII right up until its mysterious theft in Brazil in 1983 - a bad year for Brazil seeing as it was the same year that Garrincha died, as the film reliably informed us. The film itself covered many events we all know and love (with subtitles mind, we are highbrow here at TSLR Towers), skipping over some incidents quickly and without explanation (the West Germans being on drugs in 1954 was glossed over, we want to hear more on that!) whilst giving excessive detail on the trophy's disappearance in London. Overall, as a football fan, you should know everything that was in the film but it was very slickly made and contained some fabulous footage even we hadn't encountered before.
Its biggest fault? Well, it featured a Q&A with an Italian who won the World Cup trophy in its current form. The Jules Rimet original had been retired in the hands of Brazil after the 1970 tournament. But that's just pedantic, right? The Q&A was a largely hilarious affair being as it was in Italian - the interpreter, bless her, had her heavy breath in our ears throughout and spent three questions talking to nobody after flicking off her device. In fact, there's some of the answers in more detail on this Forza Italian Football blog here. But that was less important by that stage, we were too busy wondering how we would collar the great Tardelli afterwards for a photo standing proudly waving the latest issue in front of our lens.
On one question, he suggested that he was actually impressed with the way English players, management and fans accept decisions made by the officials compared with Italy - Italians must be horrendous for that to be the case. After the answers and an assessment of his daughter as wife material (it didn't really matter what she looked like to be honest) we moved in and convinced him to pose. Ideally we wanted him to hold two copies aloft a la that 1982 celebration but his entourage of Mafiosa prevented us from engaging too fully.

And that was that, we left Tardelli to enjoy the sycophantic Italian contingent (well, we weren't that sycophantic - it's not like he played for the Albion or anything) and his impending Bunga Bunga party. Rumour had it that Silvio Berlusconi was waiting in the basement with a host of underage prostitutes. We left safe in the knowledge that a man whose hands touched the World Cup have now touched TSLR. And his celebration a year before wither TSLR editor was born has, in some way, touched us all.

Of course, he was only the second best player to appear at the 1982 World Cup:

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