Riccardo Albini, interview with the inventor of Fantasy Football: “If I were born in Silicon Valley, I would be a billionaire …”

Riccardo Albini, intervista all'inventore del Fantacalcio: "Se fossi nato nella Silicon Valley, sarei miliardario..."

Riccardo Albini, interview with the inventor of Fantasy Football: "If I were born in Silicon Valley, I would be a billionaire …"

MILAN – Riccardo Albini is the inventor of Fantacalcio , the game on the sport most loved by Italians that involves millions of people every weekend. In order to win, players must be auctioned, and then on Sunday they make the difference between scored goals (in the case of movement players) and penalties (in the case of goalkeepers). But how and why was fantasy football born? This is explained by Riccardo Albini himself in an exclusive interview with Lorenzo Giarelli for the "Fatto Quotidiano".

"At the time I was working for a magazine, Videogiochi. I went twice a year in the US with my partners Alberto Rossetti and Benedetta Terrani and on one of these trips I found a book on Fantasy football and one on Fantasy baseball. I took them to Italy and I thought about how to create something similar for football. The first league of fantasy football was among the eight teams that then became the historical group of a championship that still lasts today, after 30 years: me, my partner Alberto and some of the guests of the Goccia d 'oro bar in Milan, all co-opted from the manager.

At the time we used the pizzini to play: on Saturday we wrote the training on a piece of paper and gave it to the bartender. Yes, we continued immediately with the Serie A 88/89 championship. At the first auction we slaughtered for Maradona: it was bought to 99 fantamilioni out of 300 available. Record beaten the year after by Van Basten, 101, the first to go in triple digits. In 1990 I wrote a book, Serie A-Fantacalcio, which began to shoot a lot.

I propose the game to the Gazzetta dello sport, but they tell me they do not have the technology to manage a national league. They contacted me in '94, when they were ready to leave. I developed an ad hoc regulation and launched the championship, which was an incredible success: 10/15 thousand registered, there were 70 thousand.

No, we went on until '99, then we sold the company and from then on we no longer had to deal with them. You have invented a game loved all over Italy. At least it will be a millionaire But let alone.

Today everyone who discovers that they are the inventor of fantasy football expects it to be, but the reality is that – especially at the time – it was difficult to protect such an idea, which is based on the votes of others and on the performance of the players . Maybe if I had been in Silicon Valley I would have become a millionaire. "

Not just fantasy football, here is Riccardo Albini

In 1982 he founded the first Italian magazine dedicated to videogames, Videogames. In the following years he also produced the magazine K. He is considered the inventor of fantasy football, which he created in 1988 on the basis of a fantasy American sport based on baseball. In 1990 he published the book Serie A-Fantacalcio, with the Editions Studio-Vit.

In 1994 the game he launched reached popularity throughout Italy thanks to the collaboration with La Gazzetta dello Sport. He is currently editor of the monthly magazine Logic Art, dedicated to logical images. Beginning on May 10, 2005, he distributed Sudoku in Italy (which he had met on several trips to the United States at the beginning of the 2000s), publishing the first diagrams on the Genoese newspaper Il Secolo XIX (from Wikipedia)

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