Il Bel Gioco

Image courtesy of GQ

This month marks the start of UEFA Euro 2016, which will see the highly-ranked Italian squad – or The Azzurri, as they’re known to local fans - make an attempt at the coveted trophy. However, it’s not just their physical skills that the Italian men of the sporting world are known for; Italian sportsmen and sportswomen are also known for embodying the class and smart dress sense that is so deeply associated with Italian style. To celebrate the launch of the competition, we’ve put together a list of the most stylish men of Italian sports. 

Image courtesy of GQ

Andrea Pirlo

It would be impossible to create a list of stylish Italians, let alone a list of stylish Italian sportsmen, without including Andrea Pirlo. With his love of vintage fashion, impeccable suits, his own vineyard and his Descartes-referencing autobiography (I Think Therefore I Play). Pirlo embodies an artistic, passionate and effortless approach to life and sport which is impossible to emulate. He’s a sporting icon, helping Italy to victory in the 2006 World Cup, and he’s equally as respected off the pitch.

Image courtesy of Tulio M. Puglia

Paolo Maldini

An incredibly well-respected sportsman, the now-retired Maldini continues to ooze style. After all,  it has been reported that Giorgio Armani desperately wanted Maldini to model his clothes when he kitted out The Azzurri for the 1998 World Cup. However, the player declined Armani’s offer.

Giuseppe Meazza

A hero of Italian sport in the 1930s, Meazza helped his country win two world cups and was one of the first ever sports players to receive endorsement. He even has one of the world’s most iconic sporting stadiums named after him – the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (commonly known as San Siro) in Milan, the home of Italian fashion.

Image courtesy of Vanessa von Zitzewitz

Gianni Agnelli

He may have never graced the pitch, but the late head of Fiat has certainly had his influence felt by the sporting world. The incredibly stylish and always well-dressed icon owned Juventus, who were for a time one of the greatest and most impressive clubs in the world.