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Soccer and Sopranos: How the World Cup will come to the den of New Jersey mobsters

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With the 2026 Cup Final set to take place at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, fans and players alike could find themselves rubbing shoulders with more than just each other. New Jersey is synonymous with organized crime thanks to hits like “The Sopranos”, and the tracksuit – icon of both soccer stars and mobsters – is sure to be out in full force.

The announcement that American football's Giants and Jets stadium will host soccer's biggest match was met with jokes that spectators may have trouble distinguishing between players and local “wise guys”. But beneath the humor lies real connections between the beautiful game and New Jersey's underworld.

Traced back to a 1939 design meant for athletes, the tracksuit exploded in popularity in the late 60s after soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer collaborated with Adidas. Soon everyone from young to old was donning the comfortable casual wear. None embraced it quite like the mafiosos of New Jersey, who made the garment their unofficial uniform.

Now as nations from around the globe flock to New Jersey for the 2026 title match, the tracksuit-clad locals may raise some eyebrows. But their attire tells the story of how organized crime, soccer stars, and everyday fans all share a sartorial symbol that links this unlikely World Cup host to the beautiful game itself. Between refereeing calls and contract negotiations, the real drama may come off the pitch as mobsters and players alike rub elbows in their adored athletic-leisure wear.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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