One would normally expect the enthusiastic supporters of an Italian football club to be proud of their team and their country and not a neighboring nation, right?
Well, the situation with Italy’s Crotone football team is quite different — and much more complicated than that.
Founded in 1910, the football team of Crotone, based in the city of Crotone in Calabria is currently playing in Italy’s Serie B, and it has high hopes of managing to qualify to the country’s Serie A soon, for the second time in their history.
What is unique with this team, however, is not its athletic competence, but rather its fans’ ethnic identity.
The Crotone fans are particularly proud of their city’s Greek origins, which was the ancient Greek settlement of Kroton, one of the first Greek colonies to be founded in southern Italy.
Part of the flourishing colony of ”Magna Graecia,” Kroton was established by Greek settlers who left the region of Achaea, just opposite it on the other side of the Ionian Sea, way back in 710 BC.
However, despite the 27 centuries between the establishment of the city and our times, the football fans of Crotone maintain and celebrate their Ancient Greek identity.
The team’s motto is no other than the term ”Magna Grecia,” and Crotoneans pride themselves as being ”La Capitale Della Magna Grecia” (The capital of Greater Greece.)
The two main slogans that the football fans of the Crotone team chant each time their team plays are ”Salutate la Magna Grecia,” (Bow to Greater Greece) and ”Noi siamo la Magna Grecia,” (We are the Greater Greece.)
The team’s banner also shows a map of southern Italy or ”Magna Graecia,” with the ancient Greek name of the city ”Kroton” written on it, along with the centuries the first Greek settlers arrived in the region.
Most of the flags of the fans of Crotone include depictions of ancient Greek helmets, Greek warrior figures and Greek keys, or meanders, and Greek nationals are more than welcome to join this joyful community of Italian football supporters.
The team competed in Italy’s prestigious Serie A championship from 2016 to 2018, and it now hopes that it will soon return to the category, making …Magna Graecia great again!