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Settling in for soccer, sleep deprivation

Vince Iannucci has a tradition of saving 12 months' annual leave.

RIAHN SMITH June 13, 2014 5:07am

Won't miss a pass: Father and son soccer fanatics Vince and Gianluca Iannucci are set for weeks of sleep deprivation while they enjoy the soccer World Cup.


 

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.’’

Mr Iannucci follows Australia and Italy and has been a avid soccer fan for more than 30 years.

‘‘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.’’

And Mr Iannucci’s tips?

‘‘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.’’

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