Triviela – Beyond Trivia
The Trivela is a Portuguese term to denote the art of kicking the football with the outside of one’s foot. It is used to hide one’s weaker foot and also to suddenly fool the opposition with a wickedly swerving ball from a difficult angle. In Triviela, we will attempt to find some football feats/facts which would make you sit up and take note, like it happens when you see Ricardo Quaresma try these.
The 1st Bishop of Pavia
The 1st bishop of Pavia has an unwitting history with a game, which was discovered at least 14 centuries after his death.
Pavia is an ancient town in northern Italy about 35 km from Milan. It is the capital of the provinceofPavia. The city achieved its greatest political importance between 568 and 774 A.D., as the capital of the KingdomoftheLombards. Syrus (Sirus) was the 1st bishop of Pavia back in the 1st century. His legend, according to the 14th century source known as the De laudibus Papiæ (In the Praise of Pavia), states that Syrus was the boy with the five loaves who appears in the Gospels.
This Saint Syrus would have stayed off limits, till you hear the Italian way of writing his name – Syrus is written as Siro and being a saint, he was called San Siro!
Even though San Siro di Pavia did not have any direct relation to football or football clubs, it was in his memory, that a vast district of Milan was named San Siro. So when the stadium was opened in 1926, it was named “Nuovo Stadio Calcistico San Siro” (San Siro New Football Stadium). Later it was renamed as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, but owing to Meazza’s Inter history (though he played for both Milan clubs), the Rossoneri half of Milan still call the stadium San Siro.
Parting Shot: San Siro di Pavia had a compatriot, a bishop in Pavia back in the 1st century, and his name was Juventius of Pavia. No link has been found between him and the third famous Italian club from Turin though.
Larger than Life
Let’s start with a question: What is common between Jomo Sono of South Africa, Abedi Pele of Ghana and Mohammed Kallon of Sierra Leone. Well for one, they are all African. While Jomo and Abedi Pele are absolute legends of the African game and in their country, Kallon is only a national legend. 56 year old Jomo and 46 year old Pele are into managing clubs while 31 year old Kallon’s wandering career has taken him to a struggling I-Leage (Indian national league) club Viva Kerala.
But the thread that connects all three is that all of them have clubs named after them.
After his soccer career ended, Sono returned to South Africa, where he purchased the Highlands Park club in Johannesburg in 1982, renaming it Jomo Cosmos in honour of his old team, the NY Cosmos. Under his ownership, the club went on to achieve several successes: it won the National Soccer League in 1987, the Bobsave Super Bowl in 1990, the Cola Cola Cup in 2002 and the Super Eight in 2003. Jomo Cosmos has also consistently finished among the top teams in the South African Premier Soccer League.
European Champions League winner, 2 times African Player of the Year, winner of the African Cup of Nations and former Ghanaian Captain Abedi Pele founded FC Nania (often called as Abedi Pele’s Nania Accra F.C.) in the Legon suburb of Accra in 2004. Nania never reached the successes of Jomo Cosmos and instead was embroiled in a match fixing scandal. In 2008, Abedi Pele was banned from participation in active football for one year by the Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association after the controversial Division One Middle League results in which Abedi’s Nania FC beat Okwahu United 31-0.
The only silverware that FC Nania managed to win was the E.K. Nayanar Memorial Football Gold Cup, a tournament in Southern India beating Viva Kerala and that is where our 3rd figure, Mohd. Kallon comes in. Sierra Fisheries, a club based out of Freetown, Sierra Leone, was acquired by Kallon in 2002 for $30,000. Kallon FC won the Sierra Leonean FA Cup and the Sierra Leone League title in 2006. Kallon himself played for the club in the 2009-10 season. Just like it’s a sharp drop for a man who has played 42 times for Inter Milan – with 14 goals, between (2001-04), and 48 times for AS Monaco – between (2004-07), scoring 14 goals again, to ply his trade in the Indian League, Kallon FC too have not set any pulse racing since their last title in 2006.