Crazy for football

"Football is good for mental health"

The idea for a Dream World Cup was actually born a long time ago, precisely in 2004, when the movie "Matti Per il Calcio" was produced and realised by Francesco Trento and Volfango De Biasi, thanks to the precious help of Professor Santo Rullo. This documentary tells the story of the experience of the Futsal team "Gabbiano", entirely composed by psychiatric patients. These people working together, as a team, overtake their fears and feel more "integrated" as a group and better as single persons. From this idea - and this documentary - a movement have risen up.

From "Matti per il Calcio" to "Crazy For Football"

In 2015, several Japanese psychiatrists met Santo Rullo and, after having spent a week in his structures in Rome, came back to Japan with an innovative idea: organising a Futsal World Cup for people with mental disability. This World Cup took place in Osaka in 2016 and the story of this competition is now famous, thanks to the docu-movie "Crazy For Football", realised by Francesco Trento and Volfango De Biasi, awarded with David di Donatello in 2017 and inspirer of the namesake book published by Longanesi.

Dream World Cup

However, the dream did not stop in Japan, and thanks to the cooperation with ECOS Europe, the second edition of this World Cup came to birth. Rome is going to be the hosting city, with the kick off scheduled in an evokative date: 13 May 2018, when occurs the 40th anniversary of Legge Basaglia, the law that closed asylums in Italy. Social rehabilitation of patients was one of the law's primary objectives. And through football, this objective can be reached in the best possible way.

Crazy for Football at School

The initiative, supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children, in the coming months will involve several schools and about 5 thousand students in the cinemas of different Italian cities where it will be presented and projected Crazy for Football, the documentary directed by Volfango De Biasi – winner of the David di Donatello as best documentary and special mention to the Nastri d’Argento – which tells the adventures of the Italian National Futsal Team for psychiatric patients that participated in the first edition of the World Championship held in Japan in 2016. A group of boys with different stories and problems united to fight prejudices and improve their psychophysical wellbeing, followed by a courageous psychiatrist, Santo Rullo, by a tough but playful coach, Enrico Zanchini, and by a former world boxing champion, Vincenzo Cantatore, as athletic trainer.

The main objective is to raise public awareness – especially among young people – about the issues related to mental health, and the social stigma and exclusion still existing around psychiatric patients. According to the World Health Organization, about half of mental disorders occur during the adolescence, an age characterized by a greater vulnerability and a lack of knowledge about the ways to prevent and combat mental illness and its consequent isolation.

Crazy for Football at School, curated by ECOS and promoted by the communication company Hdrà, is backed by FIGC (the Italian Football Federation).



In parallel with the projections, an editorial plan will be active on social media with a viral content that will invite students to post content and participate to a contest that will reward the “craziest for football” class, which in June will go to Coverciano to meet the Italian national team.

The competition invites students to tell what is social inclusion for them with a personal and effective interpretation – through a text, a photograph, a drawing, a video or a cartoon. Participation is open to all the classes involved, but it is preferable that everyone independently frees the imagination and proposes his/her point of view with originality and irony.

The most significant works will be published on Crazy for Football social channels, according to the formats selected by the participants.