Gaetano Barbato was born in 1919 and is an avid fan of the APIA Leichardt Tigers Football Club in Sydney. ABC News: Brendan Esposito


Australian soccer has a unique challenge: unite fans as controversial as the RBB, as friendly as families and those with a lifetime of loyalty around the same game.


Those in charge know there are a few levers to pull when it comes to inspiring these groups, but the thing they all have in common is a sense of tribalism — a sense of belonging to something.


The consensus among the Italian group is that Australia’s next generation of passionate soccer fans will perceive the game in their own way, reflective of their own circumstances.


“This country is brewing, what I call the minestrone, which is a soup where you have a lot of ingredients,” Sam Gerbino says.

“What this country will deliver, in terms of identity, in 30, 40 or even 50 years, who knows?


“Soccer, like any sport, it is educational, it brings solidarity, it brings togetherness and it makes you realise that if you want to achieve anything, you have to sweat.”


This week, the ABC’s Australia Talks project is exploring what shapes our national identity. Use our interactive tool to share your views and see how you compare with 54,000 other Australians.






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