Manchester United to bring full squad to Hong Kong
English football club Manchester United will bring its full first team squad to play a friendly in Hong Kong, the club's director and English footballing legend Sir Bobby Charlton said.
Hong Kong fans will be able to see some of the biggest names of the English Premiership, such as skipper Roy Keane, defender Rio Ferdinand, star strikers Ruud van Nistelrooy and teenage wunderkind Wayne Rooney, Charlton said Tuesday.
"Every match that Manchester United plays, they expect to win, and they will put on an impressive performance when they play in Hong Kong," he said. "Every player that you've heard about in the Manchester United team will be here."
The promise comes after Brazil was criticized for not bringing its full first team for a friendly earlier this year. With tickets at around 200 dollars, many fans complained they were cheated.
"They will be at their fittest and they will be ready to charge and impress," Charlton said of the Manchester United team that will play here on July 23.
"It's not just going to be a friendly match, it will be a match that we will have to win," he said.
Charlton said he had come to promote the July match as the Manchester United players were busy preparing for end-of-season Premiership matches as well as the FA Cup final against Arsenal in May.
The former England captain who led his nation to World Cup victory in 1966, heaped praise on Asian football.
"I have to say that Asian football used to be a joke ... when the teams used to come (to England) and play we thought the games were so easy and (the players) weren't so professional but those days have gone now," he said.
"You see what happened to Korea and Japan (in the 2002 World Cup) and it's possible to be the best team in the world if they are coached correctly and if they are prepared properly.
"Asian football is very serious now. It is not just to play for fun."
The Manchester United Cup, which will be hosted by the Hong Kong Football Association, is part of the celebrations marking the 90th anniversary of the association.
Manchester United, which previously played in the city in 1997 and 1999, will meet the Hong Kong national team. It will also play in Beijing and Tokyo.