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26 March1949
With the National Football Team
Giorgio Aebi
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

On the morning of 26 March 1949, the Italian national football team checked into a hotel in Madrid. That day, a Spanish newspaper headlines: 'Let the Italians remember that not even Napoleon won in Spain'. The Azzurri are there for a friendly match with Spain the next day. It will be the last match of the Grande Torino national team, before the Superga tragedy, the plane crash in which the whole team will perish only a few weeks later. Torino, a formidable team that for years dominated in Italy and beyond, provided the backbone of the national team, with six starting players: Valerio Bacigalupo, Aldo Ballarin, Mario Rigamonti, Eusebio Castigliano, Romeo Menti and the phenomenal Valentino Mazzola. In Madrid with the national team are two former father-and-son footballers: Ermanno Aebi, who is part of the trio of the Technical Commission that guides the team, and his son Giorgio, with the film camera. Thanks to him we have this film, which opens with footage of that carefree Saturday eve that the team spends walking around the city. At one point the camera lingers on a paraphernalia of street kids interrupted by a Franco policeman. In the afternoon the national team goes to watch a special bullfight (Saturday is not normally bullfighting day), staged in his honour, in the small Plaza de Toros in Vista-Alegre. The next day, to belie the nationalist headlines in the press, Spain will be gored at home, defeated 3 to 1, by the very last match of the national team of Toro, of which Giorgio Aebi films some actions and the jubilation for a goal.