Welcome to Libero, an evocative and personal journey through football history, and a celebration of our modern game. Football is unique in that it transcends the boundaries of sport, and can be appreciated and discussed on a vast number of levels, be they cultural, social, political, or even sartorial. One can talk and write about football without even ever mentioning any particular game. It is this aspect of the sport which has always fascinated me. This blog will often touch upon some of those ideas, but will also be a simple and affectionate tribute to the game I love, my magnificent obsession.
Why Libero? I lived in Italy for many years, where “Libero” means “free”. “Libero” is also a footballing term coined by Italian sports journalist Gianni Brera to describe the defender who is “free”, in that he does not have a particular striker to mark and can bring the ball forward to start attacks. This term has been adopted in the English language, although in Britain they also say “sweeper”. “Libero” also refers to being free, having free time to stimulate interests and enjoy pastimes. Lastly, and most obviously, “Libero” means being free of mind and free to express yourself — both on and off the pitch.