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Why in Italy Fantasy Football is not exploited enough?

How the Premier League managed to exploit the concept created by Riccardo Albini in the '80s

Why in Italy Fantasy Football is not exploited enough? How the Premier League managed to exploit the concept created by Riccardo Albini in the '80s

With the resumption of the Serie A, the spotlight returns to light up on another game: the Fantasy Football. The pop counterpart of the Italian championship restarts, thousands of fantasy coaches across the country return to deal with short roses, players to deploy and bonuses. For many years now, Fantasy Football has been an integral part of this sport for many people, who thanks to the game in question manage to feel themselves DS first and then coaches.

But where does the story of Fantasy Football start and, above all, in what direction is the game going? Questions that open new paths: if the past is certain, the future is made up of possibilities and examples to imitate. Because even if Fantasy Football as we understand it today is an Italian invention, it must be admitted that today we see its maximum expression elsewhere.

Brief history of Fantasy Football: everything starts from Italy

The story of Fantasy Football with Riccardo Albini, a journalist who had the merit of sensing the potential of this format in the mid-1980s when his attention was drawn to a particular guide dedicated to the world of the NFL: ''Fantasy Football''.

''Why not apply that game to football too, partly changing its shape and content?'' From there the first Fantasy Football was born, in which Albini and his friends participated, which had rudimentary rules: for example, instead of the auction there was a sort of American draft. It was the summer of 1988 and the first edition of the Fantasy Football game concerned only the European Championships.

The game was so popular that it was also put into practice the following season (1988/1989), giving birth to the first Fantasy Football auction in history. In 1990 the book dedicated to the game came out, already in the first year there were fifteen thousand coaches but it was in the 1994/1995 season that the agreement was signed with the Gazzetta dello Sport: at that ''official'' edition of the Fantasy Football they enrolled in 70,000.

The Fantasy Football today

If in the first period to do the training you read the newspapers or at most you controlled teletext, today everything is simpler: we are constantly updated, the news bounces from one site to another and in a few minutes everyone knows everything. Accidents, rumors, latest news: nobody misses anything.

SOS Fanta or are the reference portals: no sheets and paperwork, but all the statistics and numbers that are recorded directly on the app which saves the progress of the different leagues and calculates the days automatically, based on parameters that are selected by the administrator of the single league.

Magic of Gazzetta dello Sport or Superscudetto of Sky Sport are the striking examples of how some giants of publishing and television have decided to focus on Fantasy Football, confirming the potential of a game that involves millions of fans every year. This is why in England they decided to make the most of this assist.

The concept exploited well: the example of England

In Spain it is called Comunio, in Brazil Cartola, but to find who has made the most of this concept you have to go to England: it is called Fantasy Premier League and it is the example of how a championship can be linked to Fantasy Football. The game in England is essentially incorporated into the Premier League itself, which after having grasped its potential, made it its own and exploited it properly, reaching 6.3 million users from all over the world last year.

The rules may be different for each fantasy championship, but what matters are the emotions it arouses: it is the psychologist Mark Griffiths who, interviewed on the subject, declared that ''If you are personally involved in a game, this suddenly becomes more interesting, and obviously more frustrating if your player is replaced''. Fun, excitement and competition are among the aspects that most attract us to games and, even with fantasy football, our body releases endorphins and other pleasant chemicals into our body.

On the official channels of the English league there are FPL promos which has also been associated with a TV show (FPL Show) followed in many areas of the world and in which Premier League players are also involved, perhaps with the double role of fanta FPL coaches.

How Italian football could make better use of the game

In Italy the management of the Fantasy Football is divided into several portals, none of which belonging to the Italian Football League. The institutions of Italian football do not seem too interested in a game that is capable of sparking interest in games that would otherwise have no appeal. Many, for example, will have remained glued up to 90 'of any Sassuolo-SPAL just because they had Francesco ''Ciccio'' Caputo owner.

Users who watch match X mean more revenue in the future: after all, much of the money in football revolves around television rights and the more viewers there are, the more investors will be willing to spend. The Fantasy Football in Italy is discussed, is trendy and the coaches are always ready to follow any player and any game, in the hope of soon seeing a +3 materialize next to their player.

Although there is always talk of a management of Fantasy Football by private companies, something begins to move in Italy too: the Sky Fanta Show program has recently been launched on Sky Sport, taking inspiration from the English model. As well as from a social point of view, Serie A still seems to be lagging behind in this respect compared to the Premier League, which not surprisingly remains the most popular football championship in the world. Today also in Fantacalcio perspective.