Grand Cafe in Lynbrook the center of Italian World Cup soccer

Vito Dabrosao, center, celebrates with friends at the

Vito Dabrosao, center, celebrates with friends at the Grand Cafe in Lynbrook while watching Italy play England in the World Cup on Saturday, June 14, 2014. (Credit: Steven Sunshine)

The Grand Cafe may be more than 4,000 miles from Brazil, but when Italy plays, it will be at the heart of World Cup action on Long Island.

The Lynbrook cafe has been a go-to place for Italian soccer fans for every World Cup since 1974.

"It's a lot of fun," said manager Anthony Manes of the chance to bring people together to watch the Italian national team.


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Few countries can boast as rich a history as the Italian national team, winner of four World Cups, second only to Brazil (five).

"We stay together, we enjoy the game together, we have fun, we do some barbecuing, and we enjoy the game," said Carmelo DeMarco of Valley Stream.

Whenever Italy is in action, as it was in its World Cup victory over England last night in Manaus, Brazil, fans at the cafe show trademark Italian passion.

The cafe erupted in cheers and applause when Claudio Marchisio opened the scoring for Italy in the 35th minute. Just two minutes later, it exploded again, only with jeers and yelling in both English and Italian after England equalized.

In the end, the fans at the cafe were able to head home happy, after a 50th-minute goal from star striker Mario Balotelli made it 2-1 to put Italy ahead for good.

"I'm very proud to be Italian," said Franco Del Priore of Oceanside. "We like to come over here and watch the game, and enjoy friends and the game."

Diana Palazzolo of Oceanside said she did not just enjoy watching the game, but also watching the reactions of her fellow fans.

"It's a lot of fun, the excitement, when you're watching it with them," she said. "To feel the excitement when [the team] scores, it's like they're scoring it. It's wonderful."

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