Italian Soccer Team Scrounges Up Seven Teenagers To Play During A Strike, Loses 20-0

Washington Post- Pro Piacenza lost on the road to Cuneo 20-0, a result of only being able to field seven players for the match. Cuneo scored its first 16 goals in the first half alone.

Pro Piacenza’s regular players and coaches refused to travel for the match due to the wage battle, so the team was only able to scrounge up seven players — the minimum required for a match — between 16 and 19 years old to take the field against Cuneo’s regular 11 players, ESPN reported.

A 19-year-old player served as Pro Piacenza’s manager for the match, as well.

The president of the FIGC, Italy’s football association, reportedly called the blowout “an insult to the sport and its founding principles.”


If you played sports for most of your life, there’s a good chance you’ve been on the wrong end of a blowout. I’m not talking about some beer league game where nobody cares and the ref is someone’s cousin who came to watch; let’s focus on blowouts where you went in thinking you had a chance, where you paid good money for the jerseys on your back, where the refs were for real and you had some family members in the stands. In those games—when the other team was laughing together because their bench players had become the leading scorers in the league thanks to a six-goal effort—all you want to do is hurt somebody.

That’s what happened in Italy over the weekend. Turns out, Shane Falco wasn’t available to stir this group of misfit, scab teenagers to greatness. As Pro Piacenza’s regular squad sat out due to a wage disagreement, the ownership scraped the barrel of their youth academy and sent them out against a group of men. Oh, and it was seven vs. eleven. Honestly, I just made up the fact that they were from the youth academy; there’s no evidence to suggest these kids had ever played soccer before.

I’m not sure which player suffers the most from such a shellacking. You’d assume the goalie, surely. But you’ve also got the strikers who have to collect the ball and reset it for 20 kickoffs. Twenty separate times, they restart from midfield. That’s like that movie Happy Death Day except they’re not trying to figure out who murders them everyday, because they know who it is: the bearded, tattooed professional men who stand before them. Which also answers why you might not want to exact your revenge via some late slide tackles—they’ll kill you. Normally, I’d say get dirty in this situation. What else can you do? Take out an achilles or three and you might get them to play keepaway instead of padding their stats. But it’s a lot easier to shatter a tibia when his teammates aren’t twice your size.

Having said that, if you’re the losing team and you manage to score a single goal, that’s the most rewarding goal you’ll ever have. That one goal feels like the game-winner in the world cup final. Your team pigpiles on you. Sadly, these kids didn’t have that moment.

20-0 in soccer is like 100-6 in basketball, 68-0 in football, and maybe 17-0 in hockey. It’s unforgettable. Here’s hoping those poor teenagers still have their girlfriends.