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Sarrismo becomes an official entry in Italy’s biggest encyclopedia

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Treccani is one of the world’s foremost encyclopedias.

Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

The Enciclopedia Italiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti (commonly known as Treccani or Enciclopedia Italiana) is Italy’s most prominent encyclopedia. It ranks alongside the world-famous Encyclopedia Britannica and the Spanish publication Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana as one of the world’s greatest compendiums of human knowledge.

Most days of the week, that is not something we would give much thought to.

But today is not most days of the week. Today is different. Because today (well, yesterday) Treccani bestowed rare recognition upon a football coach. Today (well, yesterday), Treccani added the word ‘Sarrismo’ as a neologism, or newly created word, to the nearly 100-year-old encyclopedia. To keep up with the times and an ever-evolving language, Treccani name five neologisms each week covering a wide variety of concepts and areas of life — other entries just on the first page include things like ‘action plan’, ‘ADHD’, and ‘adware’.

As supporting evidence for its inclusion, Treccani’s editors cited an article in La Repubblica, specifically the line “E se un sarrista batte l’ex squadra di Sarri con il gioco perduto dagli orfani, allora il sarrismo non era una moda ma può essere un metodo”, which roughly translates to “If a Sarrista beats Sarri’s former team with the match lost by those he left behind, then Sarrismo was not just fashion but is now a method.”

That line references Sampdoria’s 3-0 win over Napoli before the international break, wherein the team led by Sarri’s former assistant and successor at Empoli, Marco Giampaolo, and espousing the principles of Sarrismo, triumphed convincingly over Sarri’s former team, now managed by a non-Sarrista (Carlo Ancelotti, to be exact).

Sarrismo may be just a footballing philosophy at its core, but unlike other similar entries — yes, there is a Contismo, from June 2016 — Sarri’s ideals of life, work, beauty, and fun have reached beyond just the pitch since he first introduced the world to it at Napoli just a few years ago.

We’ll see what Sarri has to say about all this if the media have the wit to ask him in Friday’s pre-match press conference. But at a guess, he might be thinking to himself, “Hey, not bad for a fellow who didn’t coach in top flight football until four years ago, when he was 55 years old”.