Soccer fanatic and former Cobram Soccer Club player continues a long-standing tradition of saving 12 months’ worth of annual leave for World Cup.RIAHN SMITH AND ROBERT HENSON June 20, 2014 3:57am
If you pass Vince Iannucci in the street during the next month, don’t be alarmed if he looks exhausted.
He will likely have been awake half the night, keeping track of this year’s soccer World Cup.
The soccer fanatic and former Cobram Soccer Club player has this year continued a long-standing tradition of saving 12 months’ worth of annual leave for this special occasion.
‘‘I’m hanging out to watch every game, so I’ll be up at all hours, ’’ Mr Iannucci said.
‘‘All of my brothers-in-law are also into it, we all follow it fairly passionately. We even have our own tipping comp on the go.’’
The month-long viewing session earns him a few strange looks at work, but Mr Iannucci said the majority of the world watched soccer.
‘‘Probably about 80 per cent of the world follows it, and something like .03 per cent of the world follow AFL. I love footy, too, but for me (soccer’s) a passion
Mr Iannucci has been a longtime Italy fan for more than 30 years, but this year his allegiance is shifting towards Australia.
‘‘I was probably 10 years old when I first started, it was 1982 and I remember watching the knockout stages (of the World Cup) where (Italian player Paolo Rossi scored three goals against Brazil and I fell in love with it, ’’ he said.
‘‘I started playing the next year and I’ve been glued to the telly for every World Cup since.
‘‘(My son) started watching the last one, he was eight and I don’t think he lasted to kick-off in the first game, he fell asleep.’’
It’s clear the love of the game has been passed down to the next generation.
Mr Iannucci’s son Gianluca, 12, plays for the Victorian under-13 team and said he was excited to experience the biggest soccer tournament in the world.
‘‘All the best players in the world will be playing, all the best teams, ’’ Gianluca said.
‘‘I’ll be trying to watch most of the games that I can, but don’t think I’ll be falling asleep this time. I’ll watch the early games, go back to sleep and then go to school.’’
With many World Cup moments to relive, Mr Iannucci rates the 1986 World Cup final between Argentina and West Germany as the best. He tipped England to be this year’s dark horse.
‘‘People are going to call me an absolute idiot, but for some reason England keeps popping into my mind. They’re an unknown, they’ve flown under the radar for quite a while, but I think they’ll go well, ’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t think we (Australia) will get out of the group, but I don’t think we’ll embarrass ourselves.
‘‘We’re up against the two finalist from 2010 — Spain will be very strong and Chile is a bit of an up-and-comer in South America.’
‘‘I think a lot have written Australia off, they’ve been through a bit of turmoil, dropped a lot of players, but Postecoglou has turned the game around in Australia.’’
Mr Iannucci has never been to a World Cup himself, and doesn’t anticipate doing so in the next eight years.
‘‘In 1994 I was in Canada with family, and I was seriously thinking I might drop into the States (for the World Cup).
‘‘I was really hoping in 2010 that we would get the World Cup.
‘‘And I don’t have any cousins in Russia, and don’t know anybody in Qatar, so they’re looking unlikely.’’
Group A — Croatia, Brazil.
Group B — Spain, Chile.
Group C — Japan, ‘‘throw at a dartboard for the other three’’ (Colombia, Cote D’Ivoire, Greece).
Group D — Italy, England.
Group E — Switzerland, France.
Group F — Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Group G — Germany, Portugal.
Group H — Belguim, Russia.
A two- car crash has blocked the intersection in front of Shepparton's Marketplace shopping centre, with police controlling traffic at the scene.
Perfect weather forecasted this weekend will please the many boating enthusiasts registered for the inaugural Lake Mulwala Boat Muster to be held on Saturday.
A dairy cow has died from the disease anthrax in the Tatura region.
Campaspe Shire still does not have an alternative to the Moama slipway more than two years after obtaining permits to build a dry dock at the Port of Echuca.
There was a sentence doing the rounds at the weekend’s Great Northern Show.
Vic Govt issues alert after dairy cow death in Tatura
Two local teenagers have formally apologised to the Finley community for destroying 14 trees in Finley's Railway Park.
St Mary’s Catholic Church in Heathcote has undergone extensive roof repairs due to increasing water damage.
Cobram and District Toy Library secretary Liz Stronge said she was ‘‘really happy’’ with the turnout of more than 100 people to the 25th birthday Playfest at Mivo Park on Saturday.
McGregor takes 6-21 to lead Hay to DDCA premiership.
Fruit Growers Victoria plans to give fruit growers in Victoria more on-farm support as a result of its organisational restructure.
Betty Summer walks 6 kms in a round trip, three times a week to go to the gym. She hates people asking her age, but couldn't keep it secret when she hit the big nine-oh.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.