“Berti”, a guest football poem by Sheridan Bird

Recently I wrote a poem on Dimitar Berbatov’s departure from Manchester United.  Sheridan Bird, a European football expert who’s written for Champions Magazine and FourFourTwo, then sent me a piece he’d penned about a hero of his, Italy and Internazionale’s Nicola Berti.  His fulsome homage to the man nicknamed “Crazy Horse” is below:



Northern Italy
Early 1980s
Big framed boy with quiff ‘n’ grin
Stretches his long legs
Pounds the turf

Nicola likes the feeling
Strides clear of the wreckage
Limbs propel furiously
Thundering away from stragglers

Parma like it
Fiorentina like it
Inter like it
Italia too

The big lad’s technique is humble
His energy, timing and power conquer calcio
Clumpy, honest hybrid of Nedved, Boniek and Bryan Robson
From the left
From the right
Bounding into the box

A missile with a spiv’s haircut
Fizz the ball in
Berti smashes a path
Heads it past the keeper and into next week
Tour de force
Two-one to Inter

He had a girl’s first name
And an endless supply of girls’ numbers
Playboy in bars
Pumped-up puppy on the pitch
Not even London nightspots survived flirty Berti
Crazy Horse ran with the Hotspur

Nicolino gave his vibrant all in 11 World Cup matches
Won’t see him on a legends list
Unlike gutsy gliding assassin Baggio
Tight-lipped frumpy-faced shot-stopping  God Zoff

Berti didn’t sign his operas with skill
He was a steamroller with accelerators
Controlled chronological chaos
Spindly-legged action splash

Cheeky champ of Serie A 1989
Goal getter and trophy taker in ’91 and ’94 UEFA Cup finals
Gangly midfield funpack
Marquis of goals and girls

One comment

  1. Sheridan says:

    Grazie Musa

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