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Inter And Pirelli To End 26 Year Shirt Sponsorship

Inter And Pirelli To End 26 Year Shirt Sponsorship

One of the most iconic partnerships in modern football is set to come to an end with Inter and shirt sponsor Pirelli parting ways at the end of the season.

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For 26 years the tyre company have adorned the front of the Inter shirt, with the Serie A side producing some iconic kits since 1995/96 season.

The likes of Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Adriano, Wesley Sneijder, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku have all worn shirts with the Pirelli logo emblazoned across them.

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Inter have won five league titles, four Coppa Italias, the UEFA Cup, Champions League and FIFA World Club Cup in the time period but their kits will not have the logo on next season.

The current deal finishes when this season comes to an end and Pirelli chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera confirmed that, whilst they will still have a relationship with the Nerazzurri, they won't be shirt sponsors.

Brazilian striker's Ronaldo (top) and Adriano both wore hooped shirts that are the inspiration for this season's third kit. Image: PA Images
Brazilian striker's Ronaldo (top) and Adriano both wore hooped shirts that are the inspiration for this season's third kit. Image: PA Images
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"We are in talks with [Alessandre] Antonello, [Beppe] Marotta and other Inter directors," he told Gr Parlamento.

"We won't be Inter's kit sponsor anymore, but our relationship with the club will continue."

According to reports in Italy last year, Chinese property development company Evergrande Group has an option to replace Pirelli.

Of greater worry to Inter financially could be the closing down of Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu FC, by owners Suning Group.

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The team share owners with the Italians and the company confirmed that all the clubs in China under their stewardship would 'cease operations.'

Sneijder lifted the Champions League trophy in a Pirelli shirt. Image: PA Images
Sneijder lifted the Champions League trophy in a Pirelli shirt. Image: PA Images
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The company are set to focus on their 'core business' and Serie A league leaders Inter were forced to put out a statement.

"As part of ongoing capital structure and liquidity management, the business and our ownership are in talks to provide a range of solutions in this respect,' the club said.

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"While Suning have confirmed their commitment to financially support the club with or without additional external support, it is also sensible and prudent to look outside.

"With that in mind, Suning appointed key advisers in Asia to work with them to find suitable partners, be that with an injection of equity capital or otherwise.

"Talks with key potential partners in this respect remain ongoing."

Inter icon Javier Zanetti wore many Pirelli kits. Image: PA Images
Inter icon Javier Zanetti wore many Pirelli kits. Image: PA Images
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Roberto Baggio, another icon of 1990's Serie A, also put on Inter's famous blue and black. Image: PA Images
Roberto Baggio, another icon of 1990's Serie A, also put on Inter's famous blue and black. Image: PA Images

No matter what happens going forward the club are aiming to win one more league title with Pirelli on their shirts, and things are looking good for Antonio Conte's side.

The recent win over AC Milan consolidated their position at the top of the table and they currently sit four points above their local rivals.

With Andrea Pirlo's Juventus 10 points behind in his first season in charge, although with a game in hand, it looks like they'll likely miss out on a 10th title in-a-row.

The Old Lady face their rivals in the Derby d'Italia on the penultimate game of the season, by then the title could already be Inter's.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Serie A, Inter Milan

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Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.