If you’ve ever wondered what Giuseppe Rossi does in his spare time, apparently the answer is ‘film amateur gangsta rap videos in supermarkets.’ You do you, Beppe.
This past Saturday, the human race celebrated World Beard Day, a solemn holiday set aside to observe, recognize and give thanks for the magnificent ability of the males of our species to grow hair on their faces. Obviously, we here at Of Studs & Stilettos aren’t ones to let such a momentous day pass by unobserved. Ergo, here for your enjoyment and edification: an overview of the best beards to be found on the Italian peninsula – a region known for, inter alia, unabashedly attractive men.
Andrea Barzagli, Defender, Juventus
A quiet, reliable, center-back, Andrea often plays the Gaetano Scirea to teammate Giorgio Chiellini’s Claudio Gentile. His well-trimmed, elegant beard matches his personality perfectly: precise, a bit understated, but solid and natural. Alas, Andrea lives to tease us by appearing unbearded alarmingly often. His beard is much like his presence on the pitch: when it’s gone, you realize just how sorely it’s needed.
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, Striker, Internazionale
If you don’t already know (and aren’t in love with) the most beloved bad boy of calcio, we pity your deprived existence. Given the boot at Southampton for sparring with teammates and inexplicably brought to Juventus, where his only noteworthy contribution was a truly hilarious, troll-tastic goal in the 93rd minute against another ex-club, Roma, he’s now at Inter. His current employer could interest us less; we’re simply delighted Dani is back on Italian soil.
Like all bad boys, Dani loves himself some rock n’ roll (he’s known to be a ‘massive’ Rolling Stones’ fan). This could, of course, explain why he more closely resembles a pot-smoking, hemp-wearing hipster from Brooklyn than someone who’s represented gli Azzurri on the international stage. His is a beard that presumably smells of residual clove cigarette smoke and craft beer, and is more often than not paired with oversized black-frame glasses. (Seriously, the boy looks like the poster child for all hipsters, everywhere.) At a certain length, it also tends to render him Khal Drogo’s long-lost twin … but we digress.
Simone Zaza, Striker, Sassuolo
A mere thirteen months ago, Simone was plying his trade in the Serie B; last weekend, newly appointed Commissario Antonio Conte called him up to la Nazionale. His debut against the Netherlands on Thursday was a revelation, stunning fans and pundits the world over.
It cannot be a coincidence that thirteen months ago he was clean-shaven, but has since grown an impressive beard to rival even Andrea Pirlo’s. He also looks liked he could have stepped off the set of Gomorra, the dark Neapolitan Mafia drama making waves across European airwaves, and is poised to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents as surely as if he were a hit man in the employ of Ciro Savastano. Fear the beard, indeed.
Daniele De Rossi, Midfielder, Roma
A beard (or so we’re told) symbolizes masculinity, virility and a certain… uncivilized bearishness, if you will. Daniele De Rossi exemplifies all those traits. Rome’s native son is not known elegance or restraint – one can only be certain they are watching Roma play once Daniele has been issued a yellow card (or two). Don’t let those cherubic blond locks and baby blues fool you - Daniele is all man, and his beard wants you to know that.
Davide Moscardelli, Striker, Lecce
Italians are known for many things: elegance, exuberance, style. Moderation is not one of them. This truth is aptly demonstrated by the majesty that is Davide Moscardelli’s beard.
The beard is larger than the man himself. Davide’s not so much a bearded man as a manned beard. Even his beard has a beard. In fact, Davide’s beard is so magnificent, Wikipedia tells us, it has its very own Twitter account.
This fact isn’t lost on Davide: he has started his own label, the appropriately named FlyBeard, selling t-shirts - each of which celebrates the magnificence of the beard. Last May, Davide tweeted a photograph of himself (retweeted 2, 692 times) outside an old barber shop. “They’ll never get me,” he wrote. We pray they never do, Davide.
Honourable Mentions: Occasional Beards & Valiant Efforts
Gianluigi Buffon, Who Needs No Introduction
The greatest keeper in history*, Gianluigi Buffon, often appears clean-shaven – and rightfully so, as a jawline that beautiful should not be obstructed by anything. However, occasionally Gigi shows up sporting a five o’clock shadow. When this happens, a whole new man emerges: a dark and stormy man; a deliciously dangerous man.
Scruffy Gigi looks like the kind of man your mother warned you about. That scruff and that smolder could make even la Madonna go weak in the knees. Thankfully, we’re all adults, and we don’t need to listen to Mamma anymore.
*We understand that there are some out there who would disagree with such an assertion. To them we say: we recognize that reasonable minds may differ. However, you are wrong.
Alessandro Florenzi, Midfielder, Roma
Bless his heart - he’s trying so hard. Alessandro, a quick study, is obviously aware of all the accolades a good beard brings to a man. He’s doing his best to model himself on the great examples around him, just as he models his game on Roma’s senatori. Unfortunately, his hormones appear intent on obstructing his efforts, and all he can seemingly manage is a sweet peach-fuzz-esque fluff. In bocca al lupo, Alessandro.
Mattia Perin, Keeper, Genoa
Another brilliant but baby-faced rising star, impressively talented Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin also recognizes the value of a good beard. In his case, however, the overgrowth can easily get out of hand. With hair reminiscent of the Beatles his style trademark, Mattia would do well to aim for some tasteful, well-maintained two-day stubble as his own contribution to the oeuvre of the beard.
Grand Prize: Andrea Pirlo
Finally, we come to the legend, the exemplar, the man who started the movement. How to describe the glory of Andrea’s beard? Mere prose cannot suffice. Perhaps a sonnet can? As Christopher Marlowe may have written, had he lived to see such splendor: “Was this the beard that launched a thousand ships/And burnt the topless bathers of Ibiza?”
Andrea’s beard wins all the awards. Everyone else can just go home.
'Twas only a matter of time. When you're loved as universally as Gigi Buffon is, someone's bound to nominate you for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge, which is meant to simulate the paralysis caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, has taken social media by storm, raising millions for ALS-related research in the process.
The concept is simple: once nominated, either toss a bucket of ice-cold water over your head within 24 hours of being challenged or donate 100 dollars to fund research. Gigi was nominated by Morgan De Sanctis and Andrea Bocelli. Watch him gamely dunk his gorgeous self in ice-cold water (and worry about looking good) and see who he’s nominated below!
In case you missed it, Fiorentina and Real Madrid met in a friendly match in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday. La Viola bossed the reigning Kings of Europe 2-1 with a splendid performance, but the highlight of the fixture was a simply phenomenal pitch invasion. There are pitch invasions, there are brilliant pitch invasions, and then there’s the next level of pitch invasions.
The pitch invader sprinted onto the pitch wearing a kit emblazoned with Cristiano Ronaldo’s name and number on the back and attempted to become involved in a set-piece. Alas, he was unable to get a touch on the ball before he was promptly escorted off the pitch. However, the interloper managed to give an amused Karim Benzema a word of advice before stepping off. All of the awards, good sir, all of the awards.
…hey guys, did you know that being Italian automatically makes you (a) racist, (b) fascist and (c) a ‘f*cking ugly (Italian) whore’? I did not. Isn’t it ironic that this person is accusing others of racism, yet attacking random strangers on Twitter this way?
As I’m sure most of you are aware: the very notion of fascism is very offensive and upsetting to most Italians. Who wants to play a game called ‘let’s see how quickly we can have this cretino’s account suspended’? Report him at https://twitter.com/prabaI1978.