Calcio's word... Progetto

With everything that has gone on in Calcio this year, it seems that one word has resonated more in the press than others. Il Progetto is something that needs investigating.

Calcio's word... Progetto
planning for the future or living in the past?

The Italian press has been full of this word, progetto, for some time. It lies in the culture of day to day life, “avere un progetto di politica” or “c’e’ bisogno di avere un progetto”.

It’s not a new word, it dates back to the early Roman empire where Caesar would “progettare” the idea of a new Rome, and lands not yet conquered by predecessors before hand.

Yes, it seems that the word “progetto” has become the cliche’ word to suit a myriad of needs, a way to justify decisions and make those who hope for a change can actually make it happen.

Progetto, progetti, progetta, progettiamo, progettate, progettono

You may have guessed, but progetto means project.

But the word project has taken its very own importance in calcio of late. The need to have a “progetto” is the only thing stopping Ultra’s and disillusioned fans stopping short of committing heinous crimes against the badge they love, because “avere un progetto” (to have a project) means, that the club’s directors, know, or seem to know what the fans want to hear, they feel that it becomes some sort of magical elixir to solve all the issues that the club faces.

Roma has, sorry had, a progetto. Inter, they too, seemed to have a progetto. Milan in the 80’s had one, and are trying to find it again. Juve have executed their progetto and other teams, they are still looking up the word progetto.

Avere un progetto, fare un progetto, gettare un progetto

The espresso lady even knows what the progetto is, and what it has become in football parlance.

It seems destined to be intertwined with instant success, but the reality remains, that “fare un progetto” (to do a project) requires time, something which the press and fans will never, ever give you.

And instead of “avere un progetto” (having a project) you are dealing with the day to day running than seeing five years into the future, and where the club could really be going.

A successful progetto means that the club is hitting its targets, doing what it set out to achieve. Some teams manage to over-perform and so their progetto is seen as a progetto miracoloso (miraculous project) other teams, well they can be seen to “gettare un progetto” (throw away a project).

Cambiamo progetto, ma...

This is calcio. In a land where a manager is fired after five games, players banned for blasphemy and video technology brought in to prove or disprove incidents off the ball, it’s hard to see how a progetto can take place.

And so to cambiare il progetto (change the project) means that your needs have changed, that the needs of the club were never actually set, but something done on the back of a napkin in a bar one morning whilst having a cappuccino and corneto, because a real progetto is something that takes time not only to execute, but plan.

In May, everyone will re-think their progetto’s, decide who’s the best man for the job, and the players to make it happen and so on and so on. It becomes a circle of hope for the fans, and keeps the press entertained for sound bites and future mockery should it all go awry.

But for now, the current progetto’s wind down, for one last weekend of Serie A, and to that I say, Grazie for this calcio year full of promise, controversy and progetti.