Football in the Middle Ages

Football in the Middle Ages

in Colgados, We continue to look for data that help us understand what they were or consider the origins of football, as a sport played with a ball and feet. The primary knowledge of football we know today, are written that they come from the Middle Ages, specifically from writers of ancient Florence in the fourteenth century where they already mentioned in their writings a game that was played with the feet "kick game" and called "giocco del calcium". This game became very fashionable in ancient Florence among the youth of the Florentine nobility.

curiously, this game lacked established rules. It was formed by teams of 27 players and it was played with the feet. So, it was a totally different game from the ones known in the Renaissance, becoming very popular with the nobility; is counted, that there were very relevant players in the Medici family, that became famous “for their good playing”; young boys, that over time they became the greatest exponents of Christianity. Names like Urban VIII, Leo X and Clement VII.

The popularity of this game in the Florentine era reached such an extreme, what in 1595 Antonio Scaino da Salò was the one who published the first work on this game "Trattato del giouco de lla palla". In this play, there is talk of an inflated balloon that weighed about ten ounces, the ground where it was practiced, it must be twice as long as it is wide and the number of players must be between twenty and forty.

Other publications of the time talk about this game "Memorias of Calcio Fiorentino" ( Momigliano, 1639). It is written that this game was practiced in public with two teams, formed by young people, they were on foot and had no weapons, facing each other politely, passing a regular-sized, air-filled balloon, from one part of the field to another.

As a curiosity, the encounters began at the beginning of the sunset, and they ended when the Sun completely disappeared. We want to highlight, that in memory of those young people, every year in Florence a game is played using the same rules and of course, using the clothing of those seasoned athletes.

In Florence football was already played in the Middle Ages.
In Florence football was already played in the Middle Ages.

Sergio Barres


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