Sunday, April 16, 2006

He’s a stupid thing that’s been bugging me lately – why do we refer to the Italian Serie A club Internazionale as Inter Milan? Correct me if I’m wrong, but surely that’s not actually what they’re called?

It’s notable that Italian clubs generally don’t go in for the cute little addenda that many English, Spanish and German clubs have, such as ‘United’, ‘Real’ and ‘Borussia’ (what does that last one actually mean? I can think of at least two clubs that use it, so it can’t be that specific. Post a comment if you know). Italian clubs prefer simple, one-word names like ‘Juventus’, ‘Lazio’, ‘Napoli’. Personally I prefer our way of doing it because it leads to charmingly silly names like Sheffield Wednesday and Accrington Stanley, but horses for courses I suppose.

Glance at the Serie A table on most British websites and the names of the two Milan clubs are obvious odd men out, as we tend to differentiate them by sticking extra bits on for our own (unnecessary) convenience. This results in AC Milan often being referred to as AC to avoid confusion with Milan’s other club, which is incredibly stupid as it’s equivalent to referring to Liverpool as ‘FC’. Similarly, referring to Internazionale as Inter Milan is a bit like referring to Everton as ‘Eve Liverpool’. And we seem to be able to cope with Rome having two clubs, one named after the city and one not, without calling Roma ‘AS Roma’ all the time and deciding that Lazio are actually called ‘Laz Roma’.

Am I wrong, or do Italian football fans think it’s rather odd that we’ve added something to the name of one of their teams as if we have terrible trouble remembering where they play, or as if ‘Internazionale’ wasn’t a distinctive enough name already? And if I’m right, can’t we do something about it so we don’t look like such craven idiots?

Thank you for your attention.