Manchester United arrives in Bangkok
- Published: 11/07/2013 at 12:53 PM
- Online news:
English Premier League champions Manchester United arrived in Bangkok at 8.30am Thursday and superstars like Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Wilfried Zaha were greeted by a swarm of football fans at Don Mueang airport.
Man Utd's new manager David Moyes, taking over after Sir Alex Ferguson's 27-year, 38-trophy career at the club, performed a traditional Thai bow and greeting to supporters and media as the squad, looking tired and wearing suits with trainers, arrived by private jet at the airport.
Rooney, at the centre of intense speculation about his future after he asked for a transfer, walked with his head down and did not talk to media as he arrived with his team-mates.
Moyes then led a number of players and staff to Siriraj hospital to sign the get-well book for Their Majesties the King and the Queen, while other team members went to rest at a Four Seasons hotel.
On Thursday afternoon the team was to hold a football clinic at Singha Football Park at Muang Thong Thani. The Red Devils will conduct several football clinics during their stay in Thailand.
"It's crazy whenever we visit this part of the world," Ferdinand told the club's website. "The reception we get in the Asian countries is something else entirely. I've never seen fanatics like them.
"They come to airports at mad times in the morning to greet us, they hang around our hotels ... it's great and makes us feel really welcome."
Zaha is one prominent inclusion and veteran defender Ferdinand said all players were keen to make an early impression on the new boss.
"I think it's natural that everybody here is trying to impress on this tour," he said.
"When you get a new manager you want to show him that you should be in the starting XI for that first day of the new season and that process has started already."
Man Utd, one of the world's most popular teams, has won its 20th English Premiership title. The team will play a pre-season friendly against Thailand's Singha All-Star team on Saturday at 8pm at Rajamangala National Stadium. The match will be a part of the 80th anniversary celebration of Singha Corporation, the club's global partner.
Seventeen Man Utd players are expected to compete in the friendly match on Saturday - Anders Lindegaard, Ben Amos, Rafael da Silva, Patrice Evra, Phil Jones, Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Michael Keane, Alexander Büttner, Michael Carrick, Jesse Lingard, Adnan Januzaj, Tom Cleverley, Giggs, Zaha, Danny Welbeck and Rooney.
However, star players like Dutch striker Robin van Persie and Japan's Shinji Kagawa will miss the match in Bangkok.
The club will leave for Sydney on Saturday night after the match. They will also go to Yokohama, Osaka and Hong Kong.
Man Utd are the first to arrive in what will be a bumper Asian pre-season for European clubs, with Chelsea also due in Bangkok this week and Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool among the other clubs headed to the region.
BELOW: Manchester United players and staff arrive in Bangkok on Thursday morning and are greeted by many local football fans. (Photos by Phrakrit Juntawong, AP and EPA)
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters