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When cinema breaks into football kits

There has always been a strong link between cinema and football, which has even led to the presence of film titles on jerseys

When cinema breaks into football kits  There has always been a strong link between cinema and football, which has even led to the presence of film titles on jerseys

The link between football and cinema has always been a strong one. In recent months, theatres have played host to 'Zlatan', a film retracing part of Ibrahimovic's career, but throughout history there have been several films that have remained iconic in the collective imagination of both football fans and cinephiles. From 'Fever at 90°' directed by David Evans, to the 'Goal' trilogy that recounted the exploits of the imaginary phenomenon Santiago Munez, to 'The Cursed United' that put on screen the story of Brian Clough during his 44 days as Leeds United manager in the company of his assistant Peter Taylor. In cinemas, football has often found favour with the public. But not only that. Over the years, in fact, the same entrepreneurs linked to the world of filmography have joined the footballing hemisphere, becoming presidents and undisputed stars of various clubs. 

In Italy, this is the case, above all, of Aurelio De Laurentiis and Massimo Ferrero. The former, founder together with his father Luigi of Filmauro, bought the then Napoli Soccer in 2004, taking the club from Serie C to the Champions League. The latter, on the other hand, also a film producer, revealed Sampdoria for free in 2014, a club of which he is no longer president since 2021. From that moment on, films began to pop up in football stadiums across the country, appearing as sponsors of various clubs. 

De Laurentiis' Napoli and Filmauro

Arriving in 2004 to raise Napoli from the ashes, president Aurelio De Laurentiis decided to use cinema as the glue between his world of origin and his new adventure in the world of football. In Serie C, with no main sponsor as yet, the then patron decided to have the titles produced by Filmauro, which he owned, printed on the Azzurri's shirts. 

Several films appeared on the Napoli Soccer jerseys: from 'Manuale d'Amore', starring Carlo Verdone, Luciana Littizzetto, Silvio Muccino, Sergio Rubini and Margherita Buy, to the cinepanettone 'Christmas in Love' and 'Sky Captain' with Hollywood star Jude Law. 

Chievo Verona: Terminator, Spider-Man and Will Smith

In the 2003/2004 season, Chievo Verona signed a partnership with Columbia TriStar Films Italia who became the team's main sponsor for some matches. Arnold Schwarzenegger accompanied the Gialloblù in the guise of a cyborg, starring in "Terminator III" during the championship.

But there was no shortage of action on the jerseys of the 'Clivens', who showed other important films such as Sam Rami's 'Spider-Man 2' with Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man, 'Resident Evil: Apocalypse' and 'Bad-Boys II' with the crackling couple formed by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. 

The cinematic experiences of Sampdoria and Roma


The now former president of Sampdoria, which was taken over in 2014 for free by Garrone and left in 2021 after being arrested for a series of corporate offences, arrived at the blucerchiato while waiting for a main sponsor and decided to put the titles of a number of films on the game shirts. Agreeing with the Roman distribution company Lucky Red, the first film to appear on Samp's shirts was 'Sin City: A Woman to Kill For' by Robert Rodriguez. With this film on its chest, the Ligurian team played three matches against Torino, Chievo Verona and also the derby della Lanterna against Genoa. Then followed 'Big Eyes' by Tim Burton and starring Oscar winner Cristopher Waltz, and 'Everything can change' with Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley. 

Not a film, but a complete film review is instead the one that appeared on Roma shirts in the 2006-2007 season. In the home match against Reggina, in fact, the Giallorossi took to the pitch in a uniform that sponsored the Rome International Film Festival of that year, with the words 'Cinema' in large letters in full view. 

Rayo Vallecano and Marvel

Moving away from the Italian borders, cinema has also often made an appearance on the green playing field in Spain. Rayo Vallecano was one of the clubs that snatched up the most cinema tickets. In fact, in 2012, it took the field against Real Madrid with the title 'Knockout - Reckout', directed by Steven Soderbergh and featuring an exceptional cast with Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender. In Spanish, the film was translated into 'Indomable'. 

But it was not the only film presence on the Franjirojos' shirt, who later formed a partnership with Marvel Studios to bring superheroes to the field. From 'Iron Man II' with Robert Downey Jr. to 'The Avengers' - translated into 'Los Vengadores' - which, however, they could do nothing against in the match in which they appeared on Rayo's shirts against Barcelona, when the blaugrana won by an incredible 7-0

Atletico Madrid and Spider-Man's webs


The one who created the most original jersey with reference to the films was Atletico Madrid, who, thanks to the collaboration with Warner Bros, designed a uniform, signed by Nike, entirely dedicated to the release of 'Spider-Man'. Dark colour, a large spider's web across the front with the Spider-Man emblem in the centre. An idea, however, that led to much controversy and discontent among Colchoneros fans, always attached to their traditions and colours.

But between 2002 and 2004 this was not the only case that saw the cinema make an irruption in the Atleti world. Other films arrived such as 'Hitch' starring Will Smith, 'El tesoro del Amazonas', 'XXX 2' and 'Hell Boy'. And wearing these cinematic uniforms were true legends of the Colchoneros, such as Fernando Torres and Diego Pablo Simeone.