Famed Italian football club AS Roma is teaming up with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As part of the new agreement, the sports complex becomes the official winter training home of the three-time Serie A champions, along with AS Roma serving as presenting sponsor of several Disney-owned youth soccer events. The Rome-based professional team will also have one of its youth academy teams compete in Disney’s Soccer Showcase.
Franco Baldini (photo, right), director general of football operations for AS Roma, and the club’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Pannes (photo, left) recently visited the 270-acre multi-sport complex, and anticipate many benefits to training at Walt Disney World Resort.
“The facilities are tremendously impressive,” said Franco Baldini, director general of football operations for AS Roma. “The ability to come here to train at this state-of-the-art complex in good weather during the Serie A winter break will be a big advantage.”
AS Roma’s involvement underscores the sports complex’s stature as the nation’s top youth soccer venue, which annually hosts pro soccer events as well as many of the country’s most prestigious youth soccer tournaments.
The joint venture also integrates the Italian football club, winner of nine Coppa Italia titles and two Supercoppa Italiana crowns, into the U.S. youth soccer market, where it hopes to expand its fan base.