KUALA LUMPUR (18 JULY 2013): Chelsea Football Club arrived in Kuala Lumpur today from Bangkok for the second leg of their 2013 ‘Here to Play, Here to Stay’ Asian Tour with the promise of an exciting encounter against a Malaysia XI this weekend.
Jose Mourinho, back for a second stint as Chelsea manager, recently said the Blues are all excited over the showdown with the Malaysians, with the strong possibility of parading his strongest available line-up.
The match between Chelsea FC and Malaysia XI will be played at the 68,000-capacity Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday, July 21, and is scheduled to kick-off at 9.45pm.
“I would like to thank all Chelsea fans in this region for supporting us and being with us all these years. The fans have been anxiously waiting to receive us and I would like to say we will certainly play some of the best players on board. You deserve this,” said Mourinho in Kuala Lumpur today.
“I am really delighted to return to Chelsea and this pre-season Asian Tour is important as it will provide the players the opportunity of playing some good matches before the English Premier League season gets started,” added the Portuguese, who displayed a calm and composed figure during the question and answer session by the media.
The Blues arrived in town with a formidable line-up that includes John Terry, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard, Demba Ba, Ashley Cole and latest signings Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Mark Schwarzer.
Also in attendance at the press conference were Chelsea FC Chief Executive, Ron Gourlay, ProEvents International Managing Director, San Boon Wah, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Vice President Dato’ Seri Subahan Kamal, FAM General-Secretary, Dato’ Hamidin Amin and National chief coach Datuk K. Rajagobal.
Mourinho, who had successful stints with Inter Milan and Real Madrid, said it has been nine years ago since he last managed Chelsea and that a lot of things have taken place in his profession, and life. However, he is optimistic of more achievements at Stamford Bridge as the new season unfolds.
“I am arriving at the club that I love. I know a lot of players, their mentality and their ambitions as players. We have to work hard and work with quality. The club is more important than us,” said Mourinho, who delivered Chelsea’s first Premier League title in 50 years in his debut season at the club in 2005, and followed up with another successful stint the following year.
He also guided Chelsea to the 2007 FA Cup and two League Cups, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League on two occasions.
This year’s summer tour has been made possible once again by the concerted efforts of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and ProEvents International, who have been responsible for bringing all top European teams who have visited Malaysia since 2001.
Boon Wah expressed his gratitude to Chelsea FC for including Kuala Lumpur as part of their 2013 ‘Here to Play, Here to Stay’ pre-season Asian tour.
“Chelsea FC will be in Kuala Lumpur for five days and we have arranged several activities including a training session at the Chelsea FC Soccer School at Damansara Damai and an autograph session for fans. Today, the 2012 Champions League, and reigning Europa League champions are back for a third time in the last six years and ProEvents International is delighted to be part of this wonderful occasion,” added Boon Wah.
Malaysian coach Rajagobal, who was in Australia with the Malaysian Tigers squad for a two-week playing tour, said there has been lots of improvements in the team following their stint down under.
“We won some matches and lost some. However, there are positive signs in the team following this tour and it will be good when we face Chelsea FC. I am looking forward to playing against one of the top clubs in the world,” added Rajagobal, as he prepares his side for the Asian Cup Group D qualifying round match against Bahrain on Oct 15.
Watch Chelsea FC play Malaysia XI on Sunday, July 21 at the Shah Alam Stadium 9.45pm kick-off. Tickets priced at RM58, RM88, RM108, RM308, and limited VIP tickets at RM408 can be purchased from Ticketpro’s telephone hotline, +6(03)7880-7999; www.ticketpro.com.my (for international supporters) and at Ticketpro’s outlets across Malaysia. For more information on Chelsea FC’s tour visit: www.chelseafc.com/ontour
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