Skip to main content

The Mind-blowing Trofeo TIM Tournament


Rarely is there a football event that is so surprisingly absurd that it blows one’s mind. And yet summer after summer, for twelve summers, this tournament continues to defy the odds. Some call it a meaningless preseason tournament, but for me it does mean something: it means we’re only a few friendlies and four short weeks away from the return of my precious Serie A. So FIFA may not sanction this strange tournament because of its bizarre format, but it is a milestone in the long and empty summer that is almost void of football, so I’ll take it.

It's been too long since we lifted a trophy.... any trophy...

Milan have won the tournament three times, but Juventus have only won once, while Inter have won it eight times. So it seems that Inter’s best success is built on only lasting for 45 minutes, they don’t seem to do as well at lasting the full 90. Maybe it was their back to back premature performances that saw them win the last two tournaments, but they weren’t invited this year. Instead, it is the newly promoted Sassuolo who will be taking their place along with Juventus and Milan for the first time. So a very hearty welcome to Sassuolo, otherwise known as any team not called Inter.

The Trofeo TIM is considered slightly cursed as 10 of the 12 winners did not go on to win the Scudetto that same season. Although when Inter have won it eight times, the odds of winning a real trophy do go down considerably, unless a court gets involved, so probably more Inter, less curse. Milan have not won since 2008, and at this point any silverware sounds pretty good, so maybe we can learn from Inter’s book: by eliminating the team with the most wins, then maybe we can be successful.

Welcome to any team not called Inter

If you are not familiar with the format of this tournament, it is three 45 minute games, with each team playing two matches. If at the end of 45 minutes, a winner is not determined, then penalties decide a win. A team earns 3 points for a win in regulation, 2 points for winning on penalties, 1 point for losing on penalties, and 0 points for losing in regulation. Kind of like the speed dating version of a football tournament, only one team is definitely going to get lucky… or unlucky, if you believe the “curse.”

The tournament is a good chance for Allegri to try out some younger and untested players, and a very bad time to get injured, considering the season is just around the corner. And with our five national team players not due back to Milanello until the following day, it’s not like he has an ideal starting lineup anyway.

Juventus with that other trophy

So here’s to a non-FIFA sanctioned meaningless preseason quickie tournament that is Inter-free for the first time in its history this year. Hopefully Allegri won’t be too sentimental against Sassuolo, the team he coached and is still revered by. And let’s definitely hope that no one gets injured, and that maybe Milan will come home from the tournament with some silverware. Since our objective is apparently to win the Coppa Italia, this would double our projected trophy count for the year.

Our next match is the
Trofeo TIM Tournament
Stadio Città del Tricolore in Reggio Emilia

20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT) Milan vs. Juventus
21:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT) Loser vs. Sassuolo
22:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT) Winner vs. Sassuolo


This post inspired by the music of The Doors