Udinese pays tribute to Friuli’s immigrants around the world with its away kit

Club stars Gerard Deulofeu and Rodrigo de Paul share their emotions on playing in iconic shirt

Sunday’s Serie A match between Udinese and Parma at the Dacia Arena was marked by a very special initiative. The side from Udine, who won the match 3-2 thanks to an 88th minute goal by former Watford striker Ignacio Pussetto, wore their second kit, which pays tribute to all the immigrants from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, where the club is from, around the world. The kit, made by Macron, the club’s sponsor, bears the names of the 140 towns where there is a Fogolâr Furlan, the Friulian immigrant associations which have been created around the world.

Gerard Deulofeu, former Barcelona, Everton or AC Milan striker, who is on loan from Watford to Udinese, made his debut for the team in yesterday’s match. The player expressed his happiness for wearing the shirt: “It was a very nice emotion to play with this shirt, a very cool experience. It is beautiful and we know that it is an important shirt for the Friuli region and for the fans who are out there and who follow and support us. So it was a very cool experience,” said the Spanish international.

Deulofeu also commented on the importance of football in his life and that for many people, especially in difficult moments: “Football is a joy. There are people like me who live football in an incredible way. It is great to be at home and to be able to watch football every day or at the weekend. We appreciate being able to give people joy and I hope that they will also appreciate it and enjoy our game in this situation that the world is experiencing,” said the player.

Rodrigo de Paul, Argentine international, also played on Sunday with the special shirt and wanted to express his pride in participating in an initiative that also has the name of his hometown Buenos Aires: “For us to play with such an important shirt that represents so much for Friuli is something that makes us very proud and also allows us to be close to each of the Udinese fans who are a little far away. For me, especially, it is important because I look at it and the city that I miss so much appears, so I find this shirt very representative and we are proud to wear it,” said the midfielder.

De Paul also commented on the importance that football has in society, especially in these difficult times: “It is very important. First of all, we have to thank all the players who sometimes put our health at risk knowing that it is a job but that we try to bring a little peace and fun or clear people’s heads at such a delicate time for the world. From my side, the message is always that as long as we are united and listen to the authorities it will surely be easier to get out of this moment,” said De Paul.

The Argentinean wanted to leave a message to the people who, from a distance, support him and his club: “Every day I receive a little message so I send all Udinese fans who are in Argentina a very important greeting and I hope they will be very well in my land”.

Before the match, Udinese and Macron sent a package with a shirt and a message from the president Gianpaolo Pozzo to the 140 Fogolâr Furlan groups around the world.

Magda Pozzo, Udinese’s strategic marketing coordinator, explained the objective of the campaign: “We wanted to strengthen the connections with our land, showing once again our pride in representing Udine and Friuli around the world. For this reason, we wanted to send all the cities that have Fogolârs Furlan a special box with the T-shirt and a letter from Gianpaolo Pozzo. The emotional videos and photos we received filled us with joy. Once again, the power of football was evident and, in Udinese, we are proud to have more than one million passionate fans, with Friulian origins, around the world”, said Magda Pozzo.

Three graphic details stand out on the kit: the diagonal golden band with the names of all the cities where there is a Fogolar Furlan, symbol of the Friulans who migrated abroad; on the lower right, in relief and tone on tone, the eagle of the Friuli flag; and on the right sleeve the year 1077 which refers to the foundation of the “Patrie dal Friuli”.

The Fogolârs, which are organized groups with their own headquarters in their cities, exist mainly in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia and Switzerland, but there are associations on all five continents. 

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