BEHIND THE SHIRT
Being called to play for your favourite team is a dream that every boy and girl would love to come true. Como’s midfielder, Alessio Iovine achieved it. He achieved it as a child when he joined the Como Academy and later as an adult, becoming one of the key figures in the club in recent years. His story is filled with many great experiences, including being coached at the age of eight by one of Como’s iconic players, Stefano Borgonovo, of whom he holds beautiful memories. But it was just the beginning of an extraordinary climb: from grassroots to Serie D, Serie C, and Serie B.
The most important call for Iovine came in 2019, during a vacation in Mexico. On the other side of the world, he answered his agent, who spoke of Como 1907’s interest. Without thinking twice and fulfilling his dream, he signed a contract with the blue and white.
In this interview, Iovine talks about his love for Como, his city, Manga comics, and a great, beautiful revelation: he will soon become a dad.
The family’s support and the “scepticism of the professor”
Crucial for Alessio Iovine’s career was the support of his family, the daily sacrifices of his mum and dad, and the constant backing of his brother Mattia, also a big Como 1907 fan. Some believed in him, while others… much less. Like that high school teacher who, half-jokingly during the graduation exam, advised him to change paths: “You’re 19, aren’t you too old to become a professional footballer?”
“Since forever, my idol has been Alessandro Del Piero,” but today Iovine tells us that he doesn’t draw inspiration from anyone in particular. “I watch a lot of sports and take inspiration from everyone.” One of his all-time favourites, LeBron James, is the reason behind the choice of the number 6, proudly worn by Iovine for years.
The dream of Serie A, already lived in 2002
With the astonished eyes of a child, Iovine experienced an exciting moment in 2002 when Como 1907 was promoted, after many years of absence, to Serie A. “I was a ball boy during the game with Cittadella, which ended 4-3, and at the end the celebration erupted.” A dream, that of promotion, which he is still living today, from a different perspective: “Of course we are thinking about it, but there is a long way to go. The goal is far away, we have to be ready weekend after weekend. But it’s normal that we believe in it.” And the strength of this team is definitely also the good group that has been created in recent years: “With the historical group there is a strong relationship that goes beyond the field. But in recent years we have managed to bring in other guys who have understood our mentality such as Ioannou and Odenthal who, although foreigners, are fully involved in the locker room.”
A glimpse into the future
In a few days (February 1st), Alessio Iovine will turn 33. He still has a lot to give to the game, but once he hangs up his boots what could be next? “One of the most beautiful experiences of my life was being in the commentary box for Mola. I was afraid, but it’s something I could do in the future to stay in the world of football. But it’s still a few years away…”
A great joy for Alessio Iovine came when, at the beginning of the season, he found out he would become a father
“It was a tremendous emotion. It will be a boy, and his name will be Tommaso.” And when asked if he will make him play football, the answer is very clear: “I would prefer he played another sport; I would like to know other sports environments. But the important thing is that he practises something because sports are fundamental, especially for a child’s growth, and it helped me a lot to shape my character. He will be free to choose.”
Free time and passions
Several non-football interests: “There are times when I like to read, others when I watch many TV series, or build Lego models.” But his true passion is undoubtedly Manga comics: “I watched Dragon Ball on TV and fell in love with it, so I wanted to have something written (the first Manga book) to read during the day. From there, the passion for Japan was born, where I went on vacation this summer with my partner Francesca. Everything about Japan has always thrilled us: the culture, the way of life, the food. I must say it exceeded our expectations.” A TV series recommendation: “Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, I’m watching them in the original language, and they are even more beautiful.”
The love for his city, Como
“Como is a wonderful city that offers many beautiful places to eat. Lately, some teammates introduced me to the ‘Sottovoce’ restaurant, which is a magnificent place where I also bring Francesca and where I will also take my baby Tommi.”