Naples, May 1st, 2024


Triumph of the Poles: Napierala's goal decides the final against SNG Maribor.

After two years of dominance by "Teatro alla Scala", "Teatr Wielki" of Poznan, triumphs in the 54th edition of the European Football Championship of Theaters. Napierala's goal decides the final match against the Slovenians of SNG Maribor and hands the victory to the Poles. The just-concluded edition, held as every year on May, 1st, was hosted by "Complesso Kennedy" in Naples, a sports center of reference for the youth of the Neapolitan team and, on this occasion, the arena for the challenge between the representatives of 12 of the most renowned theaters in Italy and Europe. In addition to the already classic ones - "Teatro alla Scala", "Teatro la Fenice" in Venice, "Teatro Lirico di Cagliari", "Woytyla Wien", and "SNG Maribor" - this year the event was enriched by the participation of some "new entries": the hosts from "Teatro Stabile" and "Teatro San Carlo" of Naples, the neighbors from "Teatro Comunale G. Verdi" of Salerno, "Opera Carlo Fenice" of Genoa, "Teatro Regio" of Turin, "Accademia Santa Cecilia" of Rome, as well as the champions from "Wielki Poznan". For the third year in a row, the promoting theaters have entrusted the organizational and operational management of the competition to "Sport-X" team and its president, Luca Papa. The organization's work has been divided into several phases and has involved various aspects related to the tournament: from logistics management, accommodation, and transportation to the production of videos, photos, and social media content, through the detailed structuring of the tournament, up to providing filming and commentary-journalism services for each match held on Sunday.

"Sun, heart, love," recited "Tre Parole" by Valeria Rossi. And if the heart shown by the players and the love for this sport were not lacking, unfortunately, the sun was late to arrive. However, our champions did not give up and fought throughout the competition: sportsmanship, dedication, passion, and competitiveness characterized the performances of each of them, giving life to a memorable event. The show, this time, was staged on a football field and not on the prestigious stage of a theater; the difference, in terms of impact, was almost nil. Football and theater, two seemingly distant worlds but in fact perfectly complementary and capable of putting on an unprecedented performance. Unprecedented, or at least not seen for several years. Enthusiasm and pride, moreover, manifested and shared also by Andrea Vitalini, historic organizer of the competition, as well as flag and staunch defender of "Teatro alla Scala". These were his words at the end of the day:

"Being able to carry on a competition of this caliber is something that, as Teatro alla Scala, truly makes us proud. It is also important to note how the participation of theaters has been steadily increasing since we relaunched the event two years ago: from the 5 teams of the 52nd edition in Milan, we went to 8 in the 53rd, and finally to 12 in Naples."

At the end of the interview - happy for the success of the event and at the same time disappointed for having missed the third consecutive victory at the European championship - Vitalini also wanted to set the goal for the coming seasons: 20 as the registration limit to be reached, with the hope of the great return of German teams, once a guarantee for the European Theater Championship. This time, in fact, Teatro alla Scala boys had to "settle" for the last step of the podium and pass the baton to the Poles from Wielki Poznan. The path of the Poles was practically perfect in this sense: 6 victories and one draw, 13 goals scored and only one conceded, for a journey that fully legitimized their final victory. Close to glory, however, were the Slovenians from SNG Maribor, who first avenged themselves by eliminating the rivals Teatro alla Scala in the semifinals - Dokic scored the decisive goal - but capitulated in the final, replicating the second place of the previous edition. A consolation prize for Teatro Lirico di Cagliari: eliminated on penalties by Maribor, the Sardinians suffered from the accumulated fatigue during the day and collapsed in the match for the third position. The trial period was fully concluded for the teams qualified below the first two positions in the group stage, and consequently faced each other in various playoffs valid for the lower placements.

Below is the final ranking of this 54th edition:

  1. "Teatr Wielki" of Poznan
  2. "SNG Maribor"
  3. "Teatro alla Scala"
  4. "Teatro Lirico di Cagliari"
  5. "Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi di Salerno"
  6. "Wojtyla Wien"
  7. "Opera Carlo Felice" of Genova
  8. "Teatro La Fenice" of Venice
  9. "Accademia di Santa Cecilia" of Rome
  10. "Teatro San Carlo" of Naples
  11. "Teatro Regio" of Turin
  12. "Teatro Stabile" of Naples

Honorable mention, finally, for the Viennese from Wojtyla Wien: after complimenting the organization and emphasizing the importance of promoting events of this caliber, they announced their candidacy to host the next edition of the European Theater Championship. After three editions under the sign of Italianness, "European Football Championship of Theaters" could finally return to the heart of Europe, very close to where it all began.