IRVING, Texas, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The future of the U.S. Soccer Men's National Team is in good hands at the capable feet of 18-year-old superstar Christian Pulisic. And as Pulisic prepares to lead the USMNT into a pivotal World Cup qualifier Thursday against Trinidad & Tobago, he'll do so as the fresh face of Panini America's soccer business. Today, Panini America, the world's largest sports and entertainment collectibles company and an exclusive licensee of U.S. Soccer and the FIFA World Cup™, announced that it has inked Pulisic to an exclusive autograph and memorabilia agreement.
Pulisic becomes the first soccer athlete to join Panini America and Panini Authentic, the company's memorabilia arm, on an exclusive basis. Although Pulisic's first autographed trading cards arrived earlier this year in 2016-17 Select Soccer, his first autographed memorabilia just launched on the Panini Authentic website.
"Christian is an amazing talent that has commanded the attention of U.S. soccer fans unlike any player has in many, many years. We're honored to have him join the Panini America team," said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. "His performances in the Champions League and Bundesliga in Germany have been nothing short of remarkable and fans back home are really taking notice. We're excited to be able to offer those fans something unique that they won't be able to find anywhere else. For his fans and for us, these next few World Cup qualifiers can't get here fast enough."
Pulisic was just 17 and playing for Borussia Dortmund last April when he became the youngest player in German Bundesliga history to score two goals. Less than two weeks ago, he helped his club hoist the DFB Cup. He doesn't turn 19 until September.
"Like most soccer-loving kids, I was a huge fan of Panini soccer stickers growing up. But I never dreamed that I would one day be joining the Panini family as part of such a meaningful relationship," Pulisic said. "It's flattering – and humbling – to join a roster of athletes that includes the likes of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Andrew Luck, Dez Bryant and more. I enjoy working with the Panini America team and look forward to creating unique pieces of autographed memorabilia that my fans will cherish."
The Panini Group, established more than 50 years ago in Modena, Italy, has subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States. Panini is the world leader in officially licensed collectibles and is the most significant publisher of collectibles in the U.S., with official licenses for NFL, NFLPA, NBA, MLBPA, NHL, NHLPA, College, FIFA, MLBPA, USA Baseball, Disney, and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini is also the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. Panini has distribution channels in more than 100 countries and employs a staff of over 800. For more information visit us at www.paniniamerica.net, www.paninigroup.com or http://blog.paniniamerica.net/. You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Tracy Hackler, Panini America
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SOURCE Panini America