Football: Italian club AS Roma sport special Chinese New Year jerseys

Roma's Adem Ljajic (right) in action against Parma's Antonio Nocerino (left) on 15 Feb 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Roma's Adem Ljajic (right) in action against Parma's Antonio Nocerino (left) on 15 Feb 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
AS Roma's Gervinho (left) fighting for the ball with Fiorentina's Alessandro Lucarelli on Feb 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
AS Roma's Gervinho (left) fighting for the ball with Fiorentina's Alessandro Lucarelli on Feb 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Roma's Alessandro Florenzi (right) in action against Parma's Cristian Rodriguez (left) on  Feb 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Roma's Alessandro Florenzi (right) in action against Parma's Cristian Rodriguez (left) on  Feb 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Roma's Kostas Manolas (right) in action against Parma FC on Feb 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Roma's Kostas Manolas (right) in action against Parma FC on Feb 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
AS Roma's Seydou Doumbia (left) fighting for the ball with Parma's Alessandro Lucarelli on Feb 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
AS Roma's Seydou Doumbia (left) fighting for the ball with Parma's Alessandro Lucarelli on Feb 15, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

ROME - In a surprising nod to the upcoming Chinese New Year festivites, Italian Serie A club AS Roma had their players wear customised jerseys during their match against Parma last Sunday (Feb 15).

The Chinese characters "bai ge zao nian" - which means "wishing you a happy new year in advance" - were etched across the Rome-based club's traditional imperial red tops.

Currently in second place in the league table behind leaders Juventus, AS Roma's line-up of players include former Chelsea and England left-back Ashley Cole, ex-Arsenal forward Gervinho, Brazilian right-back Maicon and legendary Italian playmaker Francesco Totti.

And in case you were wondering, the Italians are increasingly aware of the significance of Chinese New Year.

Xinhua reported that a major celebration took place last Sunday afternoon in the central Piazza del Popolo in Rome, complete with folk dances and music by Chinese artists.

Coincidentally, Roma are not the only notable sports team this year paying homage to to the festivites - click here to find out which NBA outfits also added an oriental twist to their kits.

mklee@sph.com.sg