Italians in Miami hope team repeats FIFA World Cup 1982 victory

In Group D game, Italy plays against Costa Rica at 12 p.m.

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MIAMI - When Italy won the FIFA World Cup in 1982, Cristian Doria remembers his uncle painted his car with the colors of the flag.

The Miami restauranteur watched the historic game against Germany with his family in a small town in Puglia when he was a kid. Italy made history with a 3-1 victory.

"The sport runs in our blood. Italians are all about soccer, food and family," said Doria, who is a Chef.  "The World Cup is always on summer time. Everyone is on vacation, so it's at the center of everything we do."

Doria is one of the many Italians in Miami, who are praying that their four-time World Cup champion wins again. But he said that he and other Italian fans were uncertain about whether or not their team would win Friday's game against Costa Rica.

"Many of their players are good. Some of them play professionally in Europe. You just never know. Look at what happened yesterday with Uruguay," Doria said.  "We are all very nervous."

Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica and England are in the Group D battle.

On Saturday, Italy beat England  2-1 and Costa Rica beat Uruguay 3-1.  On Thursday, Uruguay surprised the world with a 2-1 victory against England.

On June 24 at 1 p.m., Italy is set to play Uruguay in Natal, and Costa Rica is set to play England in Belo Horizonte.

Doria plans to watch all of the games. He co-owns Soya E Pomodoro, 120 NE 1st. St., a cozy restaurant hidden in a romantic 1925 building that used to house a bank. On Friday, he was wearing the Italian jersey, and wrapped a flag on his arm.

"We are ready for our lunch time and crowd," Doria said. "And we are showing the games on our very large projector."

Doria and his staff prepare simple tasty food. They will be serving their Merluzzo Alla Genovese, a sauteed fillet of Codfish topped with olives and caramelized onions, roasted potato and vegetables. They will also be serving their popular hand made Gnocchi alla Sorrentina and an extensive list of paninis and salads.

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