BEIJING – It’s called The China Club nowadays but the building is a relic from the past, its history
belonging to the Chinese imperial dynasties of yore. The entrance to this ancient palace – now a national monument and setting of a private
club – is a gateway that transports you from one dimension to another. One second you’re in the frenetic bustle that is Chang’an Avenue, being
crushed by millions of tourists and cars, towered over by
soaring skyscrapers and luxurious hotels; the next you’re stepping across
century-old stone slabs in a courtyard furnished with pagoda roofs whose classical blues and reds bear the patina of time, and walls adorned with creeping plants. Voices
drop instantly and you instinctively moderate your pace, exchanging polite smiles as you stroll through a succession of dainty gardens and rooms illuminated by huge lanterns.
That was the atmosphere that greeted guests of the dinner organised by sports
marketing company QSL Sports Limited to honour Inter’s presence in Beijing and present Inter Campus to the numerous top managers from the Chinese
business world who had been invited. Their attendance is testament to the fact that a passion for football can bring together worlds that are professionally and culturally diverse. Representing Inter were
Signora Bedy Moratti, chief executive Ernesto Paolillo and players Ivan Cordoba and Paolo Orlandoni.
QSL chairman Kenneth Huang – who played host for the evening together with QSL partner Dr. Yang – opened by describing QSL’s charity initiatives in the peculiar Chinese context. He then surprised everyone by handing the floor to Massimo Moratti. Through a video message the president
greeted and thanked QSL and all the guests for their interest in this initiative,
the aim of which is to share knowledge and create new ties that
can promote football in China and help less fortunate children grow
up in a healthy, carefree environment. The president’s message was followed
by Inter’s presentation video, which imparted impressive figures, exciting
images and a rush of emotions.
"A football club like
ours," explained chief executive Ernesto Paolillo, "cannot
be anything other than a factory of emotions. Just as our Chinese fans
have given us so many emotions during our time here: it’s an honour for us to be in
China and to feel so loved that it almost feels like being back at home. Thank you to China and to everyone who has come here tonight to
discover the marvellous and fascinating world of Inter Campus."
Inter Campus was the topic of the
closing talk given by Luis Figo, Inter Campus’s special ambassador.
He outlined the strong social commitment undertaken by F.C. Internazionale in the shape of Inter Campus throughout the world and also in China,
and expressed his hope that the evening would provide the terrain on which to build the foundations for future joint
initiatives that can benefit more needy children.
Sharing that common goal is what brought
together some of Inter’s most important partners and friends, from
the Italian Embassy to the Lega Serie A, Pirelli, Amazon, Titan
Media Group and Maison Versace, represented by the sparkling Donatella Versace.