The foyer of the main entrance in the Imbriani house was always also a little amphitheater with a television and many seats where we would watch soccer games, especially those of the National team. It was there that I saw the 1978 World Cup, and especially that of 1982. I am not here to remember the joys of those games, but the particularity that between the first and second halves, there was a 6 year old boy who enchanted us all with his dribbling: Carmelo. He had a soccer ball with “Go Juve” written on it, and he lived only for soccer. Some years later he would wear the Naples jersey in the youth league. I watched so many of his games with Fernando, loving father, and every time it looked like he was playing too, with accompanying physical actions, and when Carmelo approached the goal, one could hear only his voice: “shoot…shoot…”
Many times he had confessed to me that he was thinking of his friends when he was alone in Naples, and that he wanted to leave it all and be with us. But he also knew that his life was that of a soccer player. I spent a lot of time reviewing the newspaper headlines and records of his matches. I realized that people knew only one side of the coin, only the glory, the spotlight, the attention, and sometimes ignored the normal life of a normal boy, who lived with his anxieties, his fears, his sadness and his joy.
He played in the semi-finals of a tournament for national students, dribbling against la Fiorentina in Sesto Fiorentino.
I decided to go and watch the match with Gianni. I had prepared a banner using wallpaper with the words: “Imbriani give us a goal”.
About half way through the first half, after terrific play from Naples, on the right the ball came to him, and with an unstoppable shot from the right to the left, he scored, putting Naples in the lead. It was then that he flew towards us, towards his banner with his arms outstretched like a kite, ready to burst with joy. For me it was like winning a World Cup. I will always remember that.
This is the story of “the soccer player”: the story of a normal boy…
“Il Calciatore,The/Soccer Player”
Gianfranco Parente, in 1992, dedicated the song “Il Calciatore/The Soccer Player” to Carmelo. Lately the song has been performed with I Sancto Ianne, the historical group of which Gianfranco is one of the founders.
Sancto Ianne is a group of neo-folk composers, formed in 1992 in San Giovanni di Ceppaloni (Benevento), hence the name.
Sancto Ianne bases its music on a deep emotional connection with the culture and tradition of their land, the Benevento Sannio, creating neo-folk compositions with the extraordinary capacity to involve, combine, and “naturally” blend rock, blues, Arabic sounds and Balkan rhythms, melancholic ballads, and hypnotic drum songs. The group has performed hundreds of concerts in Italy and abroad, has participated in prestigious international world music festivals (Folkermesse, Folkest, Paleariza, Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Itinerari Folk, Festival delle Province, Monsano Folk Festival, Festa Carrer, Popularia, Arzibanda, MusicaOltre, San Marino Etnofestival, Isola Folk, Pisa Folk Festival, Tarantafest, International Folkdance Festival, Arie Popolari, Frosinone Folk Festival, Suoni della Murgia, TerreInMoto, Matese Friend Festival, Arcipelaghi Sonori, La notte della Taranta, Colori Sonori, Xabia Folk Festival), and has earned important awards and recognition.