International Champions Cup in Singapore woos fans from across ASEAN nations

International Champions Cup 2019: ASEAN fans wowed by star-studded Manchester United vs Inter Milan clash

The International Champions Cup 2019 Singapore leg kicked off earlier today with Manchester United taking on Inter Milan at the Singapore National Stadium. As many as 52,897 fans flocked to the stadium for the encounter and a similar number can be expected when Juventus take on Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. 

While it was a special occasion for the United fans in the region, who came out in numbers to support the Red Devils, fans across ASEAN nations had a glorious opportunity to watch the best of European footballers in action. And Sunday’s Juventus vs Spurs will be another one of those huge occasions.

Competitions like the International Champions Cup are like a boon to the fans who are deprived of the opportunity to watch their teams play on a weekly basis. It was evident from the turnout that the fans didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity as they came in from all around the region – Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and more.

“Great way to give something back to their fans in Asia”

One of the thousands of attendees at the Singapore National Stadium was a 12-year-old United fan from Singapore, Hoo Fang Zhi. A big fan of Paul Pogba, he has been following the Red Devils for five years now. Accompanying him was his sister Hoo Fang Qi, who told us that tournaments like ICC are of extreme importance to the football fans in the region.

“It’s very important for the fans as we get to see our favourite players from up close,” she told us.

Another fan at the stadium exclaimed how it is a way for the clubs to give something back to the fans in the region. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone here. We don’t really get to go to Old Trafford so it’s a great way to give something back to their fans here in Asia,” he said.

“Can add more venues like Malaysia or Indonesia”

Mohd Nabil Ifwat Mohd Nasir, a Real Madrid fan from Malaysia, travelled to Singapore to watch United play Inter and was thankful for the opportunity to watch top European stars in action.

“It’s a great experience and hard to get anywhere else. It helps the fans to see their favourite team play in front of their eyes. It is great to see two strong teams against each other. I think ICC should be organised every year but maybe they can try add more venues like Malaysia or Indonesia. Hopefully, I can see Real Madrid playing in this region next year,” he said while in conversation with FOX Sports Asia.

Mohd Khairul Nizam, a big Manchester United fan, flew into Singapore this morning from Malaysia to watch the Red Devils live. He is hopeful that they will return in the coming years so that he doesn’t have to wait long to watch United play again.

“I am a Manchester United supporter, so getting the chance to watch my beloved team in front of my eyes is amazing, especially because we won. ICC is a good platform for clubs to meet their fans in other countries. Not everyone have the financial capabilities to fly to Europe and watch these teams. Hopefully, I won’t have to wait long for Manchester United coming again to this region.”

Big chance for Indonesia fans after United had to cancel Jakarta tour 10 years ago

United were set to visit Jakarta back in 2009, however, bombing at the hotel they were supposed to stay in forced them to cancel the Indonesia leg of their Asian tour. A United fan from the country, Carla Almira, told us that the incident deprived the fans of a golden opportunity but the Singapore leg of ICC comes as a welcome move.

“The effects of this cup especially for Asian and ASEAN fans is huge. Especially for Indonesian fans who 10 years ago almost watch Manchester United in Jakarta but cancelled because the bomb incident, but this year match is worth to wait, even they didn’t come to Indonesia but Singapore is the closest for us who lives in Indonesia, so this is a big chance for us to see the players up close and personal,” Almira said.

“It affects a lot to me and all United fans in Indonesia. Because I can see my favourite players running in front of me and not seeing them on the tv anymore, you can’t change those kinds of feelings, the experience is amazing. And trust me, watching your favourite team live in the stadium is an experience that you can’t compare with anything,” another Manchester United fan from Indonesia Nicko Baskara told us.

The second encounter of the Singapore leg of ICC 2019 will be played between Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur and you can follow all the live updates on FOX Sports Asia.

International Champions Cup 2019: Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid, where to watch, live stream, time, scores and updates

munich real

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are set to face off in a crucial International Champions Cup (ICC) 2019 encounter on Sunday, 21st July (8 AM SGT) at the NRG Stadium in Texas.

While this would be Madrid’s first pre-season encounter, Bayern will play in their second ICC 2019 match. Premier League giants Arsenal got the better of the German champions 2-1 on Thursday, 18th July.

When to watch International Champions Cup

The ICC 2019 match between Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid will be played on July 21, 2019, and will kick off at 8:00 AM SGT.

Where to watch International Champions Cup

Football fans in Brunei and Malaysia can follow the competition via Astro, with all 18 matches bring broadcasted live. Furthermore, SuperSport will show the live matches with English commentary while Arena will present them in Malay.

Meanwhile, those in Indonesia can watch the tournament on TVRI with 16 of the 18 matches being live in-simulcast.

Singapore, which will host two legs of the tournament, will also broadcast the matches. Mediacorp will present the games with all 18 live on Toggle. PPTV will broadcast the matches in Thailand.

Meanwhile, those who are unable to watch the live matches can follow our live blog on foxsportsasia.com.

MS Dhoni takes a break from cricket to serve Indian Army

Former India captain MS Dhoni is set to take a two-month sabbatical from cricket to serve his paramilitary regiment. The wicketkeeper-batsman was rumoured to be heading towards retirement but those reports have been laid to rest for now.

A sub-par World Cup for Dhoni has seen calls of his retirement grow and reportedly, Team India selectors have been looking to move on as well. However, as reported by PTI, Dhoni is not retiring from cricket for now and is taking a two-month break from the sport.

He is the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army. A senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told PTI about the Indian cricket great’s decision.

“We would like to clarify three things. MS Dhoni is not retiring from cricket right now. He is taking a two-month sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment which he had committed much earlier.

“We have now intimated his decision to skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad,” the official told PTI.

This means that Dhoni wouldn’t be a part of the Team India squad for the upcoming West Indies tour. It is expected that Rishabh Pant will take over the mantle of wicketkeeping in his absence.

Manchester United star returns as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer names strong starting XI for International Champions Cup encounter vs Inter

Manchester United are set to face Inter Milan in their third pre-season tour encounter in International Champions Cup 2019 at the Singapore National Stadium.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has named a strong starting XI for the encounter, most of which could start United’s Premier League opener against Chelsea on 11th August. David de Gea has returned to the squad after missing out on the first two encounters.

Inter’s squad is out as well but former Manchester United target Ivan Perisic doesn’t start. Another United target, Milan Skriniar start for the Italian side, however. Here are the full starting XIs for both the sides.

MAN UNITED XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, James, Lingard, Martial, Rashford

INTER XI: Handanovic, D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, De Vrij, DALBERT; Candreva, Brozovic, Sensi, Perisic; Longo, Esposito

 

Reports: Manchester United reject £54m bid for star player

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has been the subject of interest from Serie A giants Inter Milan ever since the opening of the summer transfer window. However, a deal hasn’t materialised yet.

Manchester United are holding out for at least a £70 million bid for the Belgian striker but Inter have been reluctant to shell out such an amount at once. According to reports by ESPN journalist Rob Dawson, the Italian club submitted a £54 million bid for Lukaku.

United, however, have turned down the bid as they want a substantial increase in it.

 

The striker hasn’t featured for the Manchester-based clubs in both of their pre-season matches so far. Inter and United are set to face off in Singapore later tonight (Saturday, 20th July 2019) and talks could be held between the three parties.

Reports: Juventus ready to offer Cristiano Ronaldo’s attacking partner to land Neymar from PSG

ronaldo neymar

Juventus have had one of the best transfer windows among the top European clubs but looks like they are not done yet. With the fall-out between Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar, they are back in the hunt for a top signing.

The French champions are ready to let their Brazilian superstar leave if any of the clubs are ready to match their valuation. While Barcelona are in the market for their former star as well, the Italian giants want to leave no stone unturned to bring Neymar to Turin.

According to reports in Don Balon, they are ready to offer Cristiano Ronaldo’s attacking partner at Juventus, Paulo Dybala to PSG. This would allow them to sign Neymar on a player plus cash deal.

The report adds that Juve will have to pay an amount in the region of €100-120 million along with Dybala to complete Neymar’s signing. The former Barcelona star is expected to take up the wide role while Ronaldo slots in as a number 9 in Juventus line up.

International Champions Cup 2019: Manchester United vs Inter Milan, where to watch, live stream, time, scores and updates

Manchester United are set to start the Asia leg of their pre-season tour in the International Champions Cup 2019 against Inter Milan. The two teams are set to face off at the Singapore National Stadium.

United have won both their pre-season matches so far – a 2-0 win against Perth Glory followed by a 4-0 victory over Leeds United. Inter have won their only pre-season match as well, against Lugano.

When to watch International Champions Cup

The ICC 2019 match between Manchester United and Inter Milan will be played on July 20, 2019, and will kick off at 7:30 PM AM SGT.

Where to watch International Champions Cup

Football fans in Brunei and Malaysia can follow the competition via Astro, with all 18 matches bring broadcasted live. Furthermore, SuperSport will show the live matches with English commentary while Arena will present them in Malay.

Meanwhile, those in Indonesia can watch the tournament on TVRI with 16 of the 18 matches being live in-simulcast.

Singapore, which will host two legs of the tournament, will also broadcast the matches. Mediacorp will present the games with all 18 live on Toggle.

PPTV will broadcast the matches in Thailand. The match can be live streamed on MUTV app as well.

Meanwhile, those who are unable to watch the live matches can follow our live blog on foxsportsasia.com.

Reports: Cristiano Ronaldo ‘cannot believe’ PSG ready to swoop in for €50m-rated teammate

Paris Saint-Germain’s feud with their Brazilian star Neymar and his rumoured move away from the club is set to trigger a series of transfers. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus might be affected by it as well.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelafi is serious about replacing the outgoing Neymar with a worthy replacement but one who’s a much more composed and down to earth personality. They have identified Juventus’s Paulo Dybala as a possible replacement and he is set to come in cheap as well.

According to reports in Don Balon, the French club are interested in getting the Argentine on board. The report goes on to add that it will take only €50 million to sign the forward which has left Ronaldo and co. surprised.

Sports Director of the French champions, Leonardo, has opened up on interest in Dybala as well and believes he is open to a move to Paris, the report adds. However, a lot of it still depends on whether any club is able to match PSG’s valuation of Neymar.

LIVE: International Champions Cup 2019 – Manchester United vs Inter Milan

Hello & welcome to FOX Sports Asia’s LIVE blog of the International Champions Cup (ICC) 2019 encounter between Manchester United and Inter Milan at the Singapore National Stadium.

United have already played two matches on their pre-season tour of Australia and Asia. Their opening pre-season encounter was against Perth Glory at the Optus Stadium in Perth where they won 2-0.

Their second encounter was against arch-rivals Leeds United, against whom they registered a straightforward win by a margin of four goals to nil. Tonight against Inter Milan they would want to continue their pre-season winning run. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been trying out different teams as well and tonight is expected to be no different.

Inter, on the other hand, won their only pre-season encounter so far. They won 2-1 against Lugano at the Cornaredo Stadium in Switzerland. The match against Manchester United will be their first on the tour of Asia.

Follow all the LIVE updates from the match right here. The encounter is set to kick off at 7.30 PM SGT.

Reports: Real Madrid & Barcelona target’s wages to be doubled by parent club who try to convince him to stay

Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have been fairly active in the ongoing summer transfer window. Both the La Liga giants are desperately looking to improve their squad and push for the Champions League next season.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen is one name who’s on the transfer list of both the sides but the Premier League side want to hold on to their prized possession. In order to convince him to stay at the club, they are ready to more than double his wages.

According to reports in Daily Mail, Spurs are set to offer him £200,000-a-week deal which is a substantial improvement on his current contract. Eriksen is currently earning £80,000-a-week but could see his wage double in the coming days.

Along with Barcelona and Real Madrid, Juventus have registered an interest in the midfielder as well. He is also entering the final year of his contract at the London-based stadium and they would want to make a decision soon as they wouldn’t like to let him leave on a free deal next year.

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford promises to meet Singaporean super fan during International Champions Cup match against Inter Milan

Manchester United are set to start their Asian leg of the pre-season tour played as International Champions Cup against Inter Milan on Saturday, 20th July in Singapore.

The country has an enormous United fan following and expectedly the club faithful are excited to get the chance to watch their superstars live. Ahead of the encounter, Rasool, a Singaporean fan, revealed his admiration of Manchester United star Marcus Rashford through a tweet where he was holding multiple Rashford jerseys and a poster as well.

In reply, the United star promised to meet the fan at the Singapore National Stadium when the Red Devils take on Inter.

 

United won their first pre-season encounter against Perth Glory 2-0 then went on to get the better of their arch-rivals Leeds United with a resounding 4-0 victory. They are set to play one more match in their Asian leg of the ICC – vs Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday, 25th July at Hongkou Football Stadium in China.

Ballon d’Or 2019: Cristiano Ronaldo claims Nations League victory should win him the prestigious award

Juventus and Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo believes that he has done everything he could to have a shot at winning the Ballon d’Or this season.

Ronaldo moved to Turin from Real Madrid last season and finished the Serie A with 21 goals to his name. In the Champions League, where Juventus were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Ajax, the former Manchester United star scored six more goals.

While representing his country in the Nations League, the 34-year-old added three more goals to his tally in just two appearances as Portugal went on to lift the title. On top of it, Ronaldo won the Serie A and Italian Super Cup with Juventus as well.

When talking about his chances of lifting the prestigious trophy, one of the all-time greatest players, Ronaldo clarified that is not ‘obsessed’ with awards. He added that he won three titles in 2018/19 along with leading his nation to yet another European Trophy after Euro 2016.

“I don’t live with an obsession about awards,” Ronaldo said while referring to Ballon d’Or as reported by Marca.

“My numbers don’t lie, this year I’ve won three titles and I’ve been good in the Nations League.  What else can I do?”

This would be Ronaldo’s sixth Ballon d’Or award if he wins this time. He has previously won the award in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

When Barcelona star ‘nearly sh*t himself’ in front of Manchester United legend Roy Keane

Barcelona star Gerard Pique moved to Manchester United from Barcelona in the summer of 2004 and spent four years with the English giants.

Though he couldn’t quite make the cut before returning to the Catalan giants in 2008, Pique always remembers his days at United fondly. While writing for the Player’s Tribune last year, the Barcelona defender recalled an incident when Roy Keane made him ‘nearly sh*t himself’.

“One of my very first matches at Old Trafford, we were in the dressing room getting ready, and I was nervous as hell,” he told The Players’ Tribune.

“Imagine it – I’m 18 years old, and I’m sitting in that little dressing room putting on my socks next to Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand. I wanted to be invisible. I was thinking, ‘Just do your job and go unnoticed’.

“So we’re sitting there waiting for the gaffer (Alex Ferguson) to come in and speak to us, and I’m literally sitting right next to Roy Keane. The dressing room is so small that our legs are almost touching. There’s no space at all.

“It’s dead quiet. All of a sudden, you could hear this little vibration. Very soft. Roy is looking around the room.

“I realise it’s me. It’s my cell phone. I left it on vibrate, and it’s in the pocket of my pants, stuffed in the clothes bag that’s hanging right behind Roy’s head.

“Roy can’t find where the noise is coming from. Now he’s looking around the room like a maniac.

“His eyes are darting everywhere, and he’s trying to figure it out. You know the famous scene with Jack Nicholson in The Shining, when he bursts through the door? That’s what he looked like.

“He screams out to everybody, ‘Whose phone is that?!’. Silence. He asks again. Silence. He asks a third time. ‘Whose. Bloody. F*****g. Phone. Is. That?!

“Finally, I spoke up, like a little boy. Very softly, I said, ‘I’m so sorry. It’s mine.’ Roy lost his mind! He went nuts in front of everybody! It was incredible. I almost shit myself. But it was a good lesson.

“Now, in 2018, everything is different. All these kids are on their iPhones before the matches. But back then, in 2006? It was a different world. You didn’t do that. Especially not at United. Not in Roy’s dressing room. It was one of a thousand mistakes that I made when I was at United.”

Former WTA star says this will be Roger Federer’s farewell season

Former WTA star Barbara Schett believes this could be Roger Federer’s farewell season, something which he might have planned from before.

Federer went down fighting 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 to Djokovic in what was the longest Wimbledon title decider in history of the tournament. While answering a question about why the Swiss great decided to play the French Open when he could have opted to rest with the Wimbledon coming up, Schett said that she believes it might be a ‘planned farewell tour’.

“It may be a planned farewell tour. He still plays big tennis,” she said while in conversation with Standard.

He did not improve tactically: Wilander

Federer was questioned by former doubles Wimbledon champion Mats Wilander, who said that the fact that Federer dominated the sport without any major rival for a long time worked against him in the final.

“In those vital moments, Federer was playing for the years between 2004 and 2007 where he dominated his rivals so much that he never had to play an important game,” Wilander said as reported by nine.com.au.

“He was not tested enough then, it was too easy for him, so he did not improve tactically. Nowadays, however, he’s faced with guys like Rafa Nadal and Djokovic, who are the masters in these tactical matters, and he does not play the important points correctly.”