In Western Culture sport is an enormous cultural phenomenon. It goes well beyond physical competition and fandom, and affects many different areas of society: economy, politics, and even art. In this course we will analyze literary texts and films concerned with the representation of sport: many renowned Italian poets, such as Leopardi, Saba and Pasolini, dedicated poems and essays to soccer, and we will analyze how each of them, from their own perspective and with their own poetics, turned it into a rite charged with philosophical and political terms. We will retrace the history of the connection between sport, literature and politics starting off from the Greek poet Pindar, and will investigate the role that sport plays in today society and in global economy. We will also take a look outside of Italy, and analyze films from different continents were soccer is employed as a tool to challenge political and social oppression, and a serves as a call for political resistance. With the support of critical readings from different disciplines, we will focus on the following sections: the aesthetics and perfection of the body; national identity, nationalism and “campanilismo”; nature and culture; society and politics; colonialism and global economy.