Soccer brothers are friends off the field, enemies on the turf

In Sports /

By Tracey Tong 

When watching the men’s soccer team play, it’s hard to believe that star players Ivano and Nello DeLuca are brothers.

The Willowdale natives spend much of their time on the field arguing and yelling at each other in Italian.

“It’s more fun to swear in Italian because nobody understands it,” Ivano says.

Contrary to appearance, the brothers get a long well and have a lot in common, including a love for soccer.

“Off the field we’re the best of friends,” Ivano says.  “On the field, the worst of enemies.”

Ivano, 24 and Nello, 22, both worship Italian soccer star Robert Baggio.

“In Italy, if you’re good, they call you fanastico,” Nello says.  “Baggio is fantastico.”

When on the topic of phenomenal sportsmen, Nello points out that his brother is an excellent player.

“Ivano really goes out and communicates well,” he says.

Of the four goals scored by the Rams in OUA league play this year, two have come from Ivano and one from Nello.

In a preseason game Nello picked up another when he finished a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play with his brother.

The brothers are expected to deliver the goals, especially Ivano, who’s the team captain and a forward.  Four years ago, when Ivano first suited up for Ryerson, he was named to OUA all-star team and given the men’s soccer team rookie-of-the-year award.

Both love to practice their soccer with the team and on their own.  They often go to the park together to kick a ball around, bringing them back to childhood.

“Even though we’re different, we’re both very laid back, stress-free and care-free,” Nello says.  “We just like to have a good time.”

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