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Bensonhurst Went Berserk Yesterday After Italy’s Football Win

Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

Yesterday, as Italy defeated England to win the European championship, Italian Brooklyn headed for Caffè Sportivo on 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst. The entire block was cordoned off; a truck had been brought in, one of those flatbeds with giant video screens onboard, and hundreds of enthusiastic fans swarmed in to watch. New York’s photographer Konstantin Sergeyev was on the scene. It was, he says, mostly an Italian American (rather than Italian expat) crowd. “Mostly speaking English,” Sergeyev says, “but a good amount of Italian.” And there were cheerful foul-mouthed chants: “‘Fuck the queen’ was a big one. And ‘England, England, vaffancullo.’” A DJ was blasting techno remixes of old Italian songs. “Also ‘We Are the Champions’ — ironically, because it’s English.”

Partway through the game, Andrew Giuliani showed up. He delivered a rally speech and waved a Trump banner. Eventually, a TRUMP WON flag appeared in the crowd, too. “People were chanting, ‘Trump, Trump,’” Sergeyev says. “One skinny guy ran up to the front and said to Giuliani, ‘Fuck you, we don’t want you here,’ and the owners chased him out. They were not having it: ‘You’re at my bar — you’re not gonna do that.’ And then towards the end, when it was a smaller crowd, somebody got out a Trump flag again, and there were people chanting, ‘Four more years for Trump. Fuck Biden.’” People were handing out cannoli and tricolor Italian pastries. Fireworks came out, too — in some of the photos below, you can see red explosive detritus on the ground — as did the booze. “The local wine store was selling all the sparkling stuff, crates and cases of it. I think they were cleaned out,” Sergeyev reports. “At the end, most of it was Sovetskoye Shampanskoye, post-Soviet champagne.” —Christopher Bonanos

At the final penalty kick.

Traffic on 18th Avenue, waving flags.

Exultation.

Headed home after the game.

Sparkling wine flowed everywhere.

The crowd was mostly Italian American and multigenerational.

Andrew Giuliani spoke; in the crowd, a Trump banner came out shortly thereafter.

Giuliani, flanked by the afternoon’s hosts.

It was a high-energy crowd.

A scattering of non-Italian fans, particularly Latinos, joined in.

Getting emotional after the game’s final moments.

The fireworks come out.

Photographs by Konstantin Sergeyev

At the final penalty kick.

Traffic on 18th Avenue, waving flags.

Exultation.

Headed home after the game.

Sparkling wine flowed everywhere.

The crowd was mostly Italian American and multigenerational.

Andrew Giuliani spoke; in the crowd, a Trump banner came out shortly thereafter.

Giuliani, flanked by the afternoon’s hosts.

It was a high-energy crowd.

A scattering of non-Italian fans, particularly Latinos, joined in.

Getting emotional after the game’s final moments.

The fireworks come out.

Photographs by Konstantin Sergeyev
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