SINGAPORE — Manchester United fans turned out in droves to welcome their beloved team’s arrival in Singapore on Thursday (18 July) for this weekend’s International Champions Cup (ICC) pre-season tournament.
Despite not having won the English Premier League since 2013, and finishing in a disappointing sixth place last season, the fans remained steadfast in their devotion, as many of them waited more than two hours at the Ritz Carlton Millenia hotel for their sporting idols to arrive.
However, due to the tight security, the players did not stop to sign autographs or pose for wefies, and merely acknowledged the frenzied fans’ cheers as they were whisked off to check into the hotel.
The Red Devils will face Italian giants Inter Milan at the National Stadium on Saturday, before heading off to Shanghai to play fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in their next ICC match on 25 July.
They will next play a friendly against Norwegian side Kristiansund BK, before completing their ICC commitments by facing AC Milan at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on 4 August.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in his first full season leading Man United, is already under pressure to turn around the team’s fortunes quickly, after winning just twice in their final 12 matches of last season.
He has already signed promising young talents in Daniel James (from Swansea City) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (from Crystal Palace), both only 21 years of age. Man United are also in negotiations with Leicester City to sign England international defender Harry Maguire.
However, Solskjaer also has to deal with squad uncertainties, with key midfielder Paul Pogba hinting at his desire to seek fresh challenges elsewhere, and striker Romelu Lukaku being wanted by Inter to replace their out-of-favour ex-captain Mauro Icardi.