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Al Bano slammed for 'butchering' Italy’s anthem at Coppa Italia final

Football fans try to drown out Al Bano's rendition of Italian national anthem.

Veteran Italian singer Al Bano has faced a wave of criticism for "butchering" Italy's national anthem at the Coppa Italia football final between Atalanta and Juventus in Rome on Wednesday.

The singer, who turns 81 next week, sang Il Canto degli Italiani without musical accompaniment but got the pitch too high before trying to salvage his performance by improvising towards the end.

Fans attending the Coppa Italia final, later won 1-0 by Juventus, chanted and whistled in an attempt to drown out the "embarrassing" spectacle which resulted in a barrage of criticism online.

"He got the starting pitch wrong, too high, and moved the microphone away so as not to make the inevitable bum notes heard" - writer and journalist Angelo Forgione wrote on X - "In the finale he tried to hide in unlikely vocal baroqueness which highlighted the disaster even more."

The spectacle spawned a sea of memes on social media, with many commentators comparing it to the famous "Enrico Pallazzo" scene from the crime spoof-comedy Naked Gun.

Newspapers and media outlets were also unsparing in their coverage of Al Bano's a cappella performance, with Fanpage calling it a "cringe masterpiece" and Open describing the singer's rendition as "a cover" of the national anthem.

Corriere dello Sport quoted one social media commentator who said: "He interpreted Mameli's anthem in his own way... And we will never get it out of our heads again" while Tutto Sport cited another: "With Albano singing the national anthem we really are ready for death, we have already buried the pitch".

Best known as the Inno di Mameli, the patriotic song was written by Goffredo Mameli and set to music by Michele Novaro in 1847.

The song has been Italy's national anthem since the country became a republic in 1946 after voting out the monarchy which had been discredited during world war two.
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