Florentine soccer has ancient origins. The first instance of a recreational activity involving a ball dates back to Homeric poems. Greeks played a game called "Sfermomachia" that was later adopted by the Roman army, transforming it into a type of training for their warriors "l'Harpastum", literally, "to rip off".Most likely played by two even-numbered teams on the sandy ground using a large ball stuffed with rags or leather, the only objective was to get the ball into the opponent's field, by any means.
Competition was a continuous body to body, head to head combat for the possession of the ball. It had big success among warriors who spread it throughout various zones of the Roman Empire.
It's not ruled out that this could have been taking place even in 59 A.D., during the founding of Fiorenza (historic Florence) by retired warriors and their families.
It's certain that, in the second half of the 5th century, soccer had become so widespread among young Florentines that they frequently practiced it in every street and square in the city. It was so popular that in January of 1490, finding the Arno river completely frozen over, a field was marked off and several games were played.
A later reorganization of the game, during the rule of the Medici dynasty, lead Florentines to attempt their own, real matches. Teams boasted grandiose names of nobles, notable figures in public city life from the most powerful families in Florence. Games were only organized during the Carnival period.