A couple-o-days ago Italian team Udinese went to play Sampdoria in a mid-table clash. For such a big team you would expect Udinese to have some pretty decent support, and they did in the form of one die hard fan.
That lone figure of undying club love is Arrigo Brovedani a wine merchant, and his surname begins with ‘Bro’ because he will always have your back. He was on business in Genoa (Sampdoria’s domain) and thought he’d hook himself up with a ticket to watch his beloved black and whites.
So after the ordeal of ordering a ‘fan passport’, writing to Sampdoria because he couldn’t get it in time, and making the solo trek to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Arrigo arrived to find himself the entirety of the away support.
What would you do? As he entered the stadium he was welcomed with thousands of booing fans, he had all the support of that one middle-aged guy in every nightclub dancing by himself.
Did he leave? Did he sit quietly in one of the stadium’s bars or in a back seat? You bet your Pinot Grigio he didn’t (I don’t know any Italian wines). “I made the journey to Genoa, arrived at the stadium and only then did I realise I was the only Udinese fan there! At that point the stewards asked if I wanted to sit in the main stand, but I insisted on going into the away end, seeing as I had paid for that ticket.”
Yeah, with all the mob-mentality of a freaking asteroid Arrigo whipped out the flag he carried everywhere with him and began chanting ‘Forza Udinese’.
Throughout the game he supported his club and everyone loved it. When Udinese took the lead the home support applauded Arrigo. The stewards bought him some coffee to stay warm. Legendary Striker Antonio di Natale invited him down while they warmed up, and then acknowledged him when he scored, that has to be the only time a goal scorer has thanked all the supporters. (1:10)
And yeah, that’s right. The Zebrette won the game, Arrigo won. After the game he became a mini celebrity; Sampdoria gave him a shirt, the locals chanted wishing him a merry christmas, and a group invited him out for drink afterwards. Udinese dedicated the victory to him and gave him a ticket to the next game in the director’s box.
So next time you’re having a crisis of faith remember this man, Arrigo Brovedani – the patron saint of fans.