To mark the 50th anniversary of Panini and the forty-year long association between Panini and Dominic Anastasi Limited in Malta, Panini have just launched the Panini Adrenalyn XL Malta 2011 trading card game. The launching was held on Thursday during a press conference at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali.
The collection consists of a total of 250 trading cards – 200 players from the Premier League and the First Division and the national team and another fifty cards with logos of the Malta Football Association, Premier League, First Division and Second Division clubs, Gozo Football Association, Gozitan First Division and Gozitan Second Division clubs.
This is the second time, Panini are issuing a collection dedicated exclusively to Maltese football following a sticker album which was issued in season 2000/01. However throughout the years, Malta did feature in other Panini collections, mainly through the inclusion of the logos or team photos of local clubs taking part in UEFA competitions in the seventies and a 25th anniversary poster of the national team in the Calciatori 1994/95 sticker album together with the badges of Premier League, First Division and Gozitan First Division League clubs.
Dominic Anastasi explained that when he was still an eighteen-year old, being football-crazy, he contacted Panini regarding the possibility of importing their stickers and he got a reply within ten days. Malta was in fact the first country to import the popular Calciatori stickers.
Anastasi said that the Italian company came up with the idea of coming up with something new this year to mark these anniversaries and after analysing the local market, it was decided to issue trading cards related to the local game rather than stickers as it was the case ten years ago.
Luke Anastasi explained that discussions about this project started in October last year. Following the signing of the contract between Panini and the Malta Football Association in January, the list of players to be included was submitted in February and in March, the photos were selected and the vector logos were prepared.
Panini Export Area Manager Chiara Chiantore said the launching of the Adrenalyn XL Malta 2011 trading card game was an exciting event for Panini. She said football was always the main focus for the company since the publication of the first issue of Calciatori in 1961. Since then, Panini established itself as a world leader in stickers and trading cards.
Chiantore said the company was delighted to launch this collection and said this product will offer something unique for the local football fans.
MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo said that such positive initiatives were of great benefit as they continue to support and encourage the local game and those involved – both players and supporters.
This collection was made possible thanks to Dominic Anastasi and Luke Anastasi from Dominic Anastasi Limited, MFA CEO Bjorn Vassallo and Deputy General Secretary Louis Micallef, photographer Domenic Aquilina, Gozo co-ordinator Joe Bajada and Charles Camenzuli.
Photos: Copyright © domenic aquilina/MFA