July 11, 1982, the review: the comic on the day of the Italian rebirth

July 11, 1982, the review: the comic on the day of the Italian rebirth

July 11, 1982, the review

In the life of each of us there are dates that, for better or for worse, mark our history. Then there are other dates that represent the history of a country and which, directly or indirectly, remain in the collective memory even if the event is not experienced in the first person. Fortunately, we are not referring to dramatic events, but to a football match that changed the history of Italy forever. It was 11 July 1982 and thanks to goals from Rossi, Tardelli and Altobelli the Italian national football team managed to beat West Germany by 3 to 1 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, raising the third World Cup. It was an unforgettable moment that is still celebrated even today by those who, like myself, were not present because they were not yet born or like Paolo Castaldi, born a few months later, who decided to tell just those moments of tension first and then joy through a graphic novel entitled, in fact, of 11 July 1982 published by Feltrinelli Comics.

11 July 1982: a World Cup that changed Italian history forever

After the group was almost luckily over, the national team's upward trend began: the first two elimination games direct were won. The opponents, however, were the legendary Argentina and Brazil, two of the favorites for the title. Hopes grew, but West Germany remained to be beaten in the final. The miracle took place precisely on 11 July 1982 in Madrid with the historic result of 3 to 1 for the Azzurri and a festive Sandro Pertini, at the time President of the Italian Republic, in the stands whose image became the symbol of this historic event at the equal to Captain Dino Zoff raising his sweaty cup to the sky.

An intimate and delicate story embellished with an elegant artistic style

At the center of the narration there is a family who, having boarded a train in Milan to reach Sicily, experience the emotions of the Madrid match listening to the sports news on the radios, the shouts of exultation for the goals, the decisive actions, the fear of a possible even if unlikely comeback after Breitner's goal, the faces of the passengers waiting for the result and the irrepressible joy for a sweaty and unexpected victory. Station after station, the long train journey becomes the journey of every Italian who at that moment had stopped his everyday life to watch a very important game that would have changed and resurrected a nation on its knees. Castaldi's is a story full of emotions that combines documentary with a biographical-like in a perfect combination of rhythm and involvement.

Being a comic whose story is very intimate and delicate, Paolo Castaldi has decided to use a very minimal graphic style with a thin line, few lines and few details all lit up by a mixture of pastel colors and watercolor most often barely visible. Despite this, the drawings manage to emotionally involve the reader and bring out some of the most memorable moments of that day both if lived directly and if observed in the following years through documentaries or historical reproductions. Furthermore, the tables are specifically designed to bring out the main moments of both the fictional narrative and the various events that actually happened as if they were a sort of bold type of a novel. With the use of the free tables, it is also possible to observe wonderful full-page drawings such as that of Pertini's emblematic exultation. Too bad that, as we had already reported with the graphic novel of Il Cacciatore di kite, always published by Feltrinelli Comics, also in this case there are no introductory or conclusive insights inherent precisely to that particular day or that very particular historical period for Italy. br>


In conclusion 11 July 1982 is a graphic novel that all sports lovers, and not only, should absolutely read. Those who have lived directly those moments and those years will surely be amazed by the amount of elements captured by the author and will find it difficult not to get excited by remembering those moments, those who were not present will be able to know in a different way from the usual documentaries or period films one day symbol of the Italian rebirth. It is a pity that the editorial line has been chosen again, lacking both introductory and conclusive insights relating to the historical period dealt with, but Paolo Castaldi manages to put a piece of it even in this thanks to his story full of elements that are also very distant from the sporting context.

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