BANGKOK (Reuters) – Hundreds of Thai football fans cheered on Liverpool Football Club as the squad flew in to the country on Sunday, a day after their rivals Manchester United landed ahead of a friendly match.
One ecstatic fan got his jersey signed by a number of the players.
“This signed by Firmino, this one by Luis Diaz, this one by Thiago Alcantara and this one by Diogo Jota. I’m so excited that I got all these signatures,” said Chukkrit Watcharasaksilp, 53, showing off his jersey.
“I will frame this shirt and hang it on my wall in the house forever,” he said.
The two Premier League football clubs will face off in a friendly on Tuesday, where KPOP star Jackson Wang of boyband GOT7 is also scheduled to perform.
“We respect United a lot, but when we meet them we want to beat them,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp told a news conference.
“We see it as an important test because it is against United – and we don’t play friendlies,” Klopp said.
Tickets to the game have sold for as much as 25,000 baht ($700), with sponsors still giving away tickets at the weekend.
Another fan, 19-year-old Thammanoon Sanjangreed said seeing the players up close was the best thing.
“I saw Virgil Van Dijk, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Adrian up close because he was getting into the van in front of me… (it’s) better than spending money on tickets because I can get up close,” he said.
It will be the first such match between overseas clubs hosted in Thailand since the pandemic began and is part of the teams’ pre-season tours before the Premier League season begins next month.
Liverpool will be heading to Singapore after the match, and United to Melbourne in Australia.
(Writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Hugh Lawson)