The "Rising Star" project launch ceremony in Beijing.

ZEGNA’S SOCCER TEAM: Ermenegildo Zegna Group furthered its support to China men’s national soccer team by sponsoring the first “Rising Star” training program, unveiled on May 7 in Beijing.

Aimed at improving the abilities of the country’s soccer program, the training effort offers three young players from China’s Under 22/Under 23 national team the chance to fly to Rome and train abroad. The journey will be documented with a movie to appear on the brand’s web site.

“China is a very important market for us, we are very happy for this collaboration between Zegna and CFA team China. Zegna has also supported young talents all over the world for many years, it’s our honor with Marcello Lippi to join the project ‘Rising Star,’ which is a very noble project,” said Gildo Zegna, the group’s chief executive officer.

The country’s national team head coach Lippi, along with CFA, the Chinese soccer association, has selected the lucky players. They are Wen Jialong, Li Jiawei and Huang Zihao. At the launch event, each player was presented with a soccer ball made with Zegna’s Pelle Tessuta, the signature woven napa with micro-leather strips in place of fabric yarns.

Qi Jun, deputy general secretary and director of the competition division at CFA, said “this partnership underscores Zegna’s commitment to supporting the long-term development of Chinese soccer. Going ahead, the CFA will explore closer partnership with Zegna to empower China men’s national soccer team.”

The partnership marks a new milestone for the company in China, where the brand has been present for 27 years, since the opening of its first flagship in Beijing in 1991.

In 2016 the group inked an agreement to design and provide the official men’s off-field formal and leisurewear attire for China’s national soccer team and Under 22/Under 23 team. The deal runs through Jan. 31, 2020.

Lippi, a famous Italian former soccer player and head coach of the Italian national soccer team from 2004 to 2006, joined the Chinese national team in 2016.

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