In a story we can safely file to the “Most Italian Thing Ever” folder, Marco Benassi has avoided a suspension for profanity this week after cameras appeared to capture him yelling some, er, objectionable things as he celebrated his brilliant goal against Udinese. Replays and reviews frrom the FIGC were unable to determine precisely wahat the midfielder said, though, so he’ll be back on the pitch for Italy this week and ready for Napoli when Serie A resumes again.
While this may sound like a genuinely absurd thing—well, because it is—the league has already suspended one player this year for a similar offense. Udinese midfielder Rolando Mandragora missed the match against the Viola for the thoughtful commentary he provided to viewers after Rodrigo de Paul’s difference maker against Sampdoria: “Porca Madonna! Vaffanculo! Dio Cane!” To translate, that is (and it’s a tough translation to do as punchily as the Italian manages): “The Virgin Mary is a pig! Fuck off! God is a dog!”
While Mandragora’s jubilation was certainly a bit, um, colorful, it’s a bit absurd that he’d be suspended for it; not surprisingly, there’s been a fair amount of backlash against the FIGC’s decision, which also seemed to involve the midfielder being demoted from a call-up to the Azzurri in favor of representing the U21s. Benassi, meanwhile, is in the squad for the inaugural Nations League because, even with all the cameras and replays and VAR, nobody is sure what he said. So if you’re reading this, Marco, let us know. Because we’re very curious. And we promise we won’t tell anyone.