Italian football is famous for its beautiful games. Unlike English football which puts forward ‘kick and rush’, Italy actually upholds the art contained in football itself. Starting to feed, tackling players, to scoring goals, all wrapped neatly in the beauty of Pizza’s country-style football.
Italy is known as an artist country. Many painters and famous singers were born in Italy. Besides that, Italy also has the art of using hand signals in their conversations. If the hand signals are the most common way to be used as an alternative spoken language, in Italy hand signals play an important role in their daily lives.
Because of this habit, football players in Italy often show several hand signals when they talk or protest against the decision of a referee.
Bruno Munari, an Italian artist, and designer, even wrote the Supplemento al dizionario Italiano (1958) or Speak Italian: The Fine Art of the Gesture. Through this book, the world can understand the essence of communicating meaningfully like a native Italian.
According to Isabella Poggi, a gesture expert as well as a psychology professor from Roma Tre University, the signals commonly used by Italians in their communication are as many as 250 gestures. All of these signals describe expressions of sadness, anger, despair, confusion, and other complicated feelings.
Then, what is the meaning of those signals which commonly used by football players in Italy?
The first is the sign of Ma Che vuoi which means ‘what do you want?’
This one signal is done by shaking your fingers and moving it aggressively up and down. This gesture became the most popular one among footballers in Italy. Usually, the players make this gesture when they are protesting against the referee’s decision.
Next is occhio or ‘I’m watching over you’
Such a gesture is carried out by directing the index finger under the eye parallel to the raised hand. Using two index fingers at once can also put an impression of reinforcing the warning.
This gesture is used when the offender said if he knew what other people were doing. Occhio is sometimes also used by the referees to warn a player so that he does not commit another offense, or the card will be raised in the next offense.
Then, there is ma guarda questo or which means ‘see what he does’
This gesture is actually very common among footballers in the world. What needs to be done is to open the width of both hands as if you want to say ‘see what he is doing’. Players like Gennaro Gattuso and Marco Materazzi are the legends on this gesture.
Because of the increasing number of hand signals used, foreign players are often ‘infected’ using hand signals in a match.
Apart from these cues, there are several other popular cues used outside the world of football. One of them is when someone positions his/her hand in parallel to the abdomen and then colliding several times, they show the meaning of hunger. Then open up the palm of the hand in front of the mouth which is also opened reflects satisfaction with food.