A look at the football stars brought in by Peter Lim over the years

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was spotted by fans having lunch with Billionaire Peter Lim during his holiday in Singapore.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was spotted by fans having lunch with Billionaire Peter Lim during his holiday in Singapore.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - When it comes to attracting footballing stars to Singapore, no one brings them in like Peter Lim.

In the past few years, the Singapore billionaire's close friendship with football super agent Jorge Mendes has seen the likes of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United's Luis Nani come to town.

And on Wednesday, Man United goalkeeper David de Gea was spotted by fans having lunch with Lim during his holiday here.

Here's a look at other star names who have graced Singapore's shores, thanks to invites from the Valencia owner.

1) Valencia CF (September 2014)


Valencia manager and coach Nuno Santo (left) with striker Rodrigo Moreno, speaking at the club's Singapore media session held at Brewerkz on September 2, 2014. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

On the invitation of Lim, who was close to his Valencia takeover then, head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, captain Dani Parejo and striker Rodrigo Moreno made a two-day stop in the Republic. The trio met fans and local media at Brewerkz at Riverside Point, obliging them with photos and autograph requests.

2) Cristiano Ronaldo (July 2013)


Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo and his then girlfriend Irina Shayk at the Crest Secondary School on July 3, 2013. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

One of football's biggest names surprised 200 students at Crest Secondary School when he dropped by for a visit, in support of the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF)-Peter Lim scholarship. It was the Real Madrid superstar's first visit to the Republic and he also spent time with his then-girlfriend, Irina Shayk, at Sentosa's Universal Studios.

3) Man United's Class of 92 (June 2013)


Welsh football star Ryan Giggs (right) shaking hands with four-year-old Rizq Miku, who is perched on the shoulders of fellow Manchester United luminary Nicky Butt, at a fan session at Downtown East on June 14, 2013. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Almost 2,000 fans were enthralled when they managed to catch a glimpse of Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt at a fan session at D'Marquee at Downtown East. Their interaction with the fans lasted almost two hours and for many who paid $30 to meet them, it was money well spent.

The trio were also here to promote the SOF-Peter Lim scholarship.

4) Atletico Madrid (May 2013)


Atletico Madrid football player Saul Niguez (right) takes part in a football clinic with school children in Singapore at Jalan Besar Stadium on 21 May 2013. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Led by head coach Diego Simeone, Atletico cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over a Singapore Selection side at Jalan Besar Stadium for the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship Charity Cup. Radamel Falcao and Co were also afforded a cruise ride along the Singapore River before enjoying dinner at One-Altitude at Raffles Place.

5) Luis Nani (June 2011 and July 2012)


Manchester United winger Nani onstage with four Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship recipients. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

The Man United winger was in town in 2012 to promote the SOF-Peter Lim scholarship. Plans to make a trip to Gardens by the Bay were derailed owing to bad weather, but he was spotted having mee rebus at a Killiney Road coffeeshop together with Mendes and Lim.

The 28-year-old made his maiden visit here in 2011 also to support Lim's scholarship endeavours.

6) Pepe (July 2012)


Real Madrid defender Pepe. ST PHOTO: TED CHEN

The Real Madrid defender was in the Republic on a two-day visit showing his support for the SOF-Peter Lim scholarship. During his encounter with the local media at Shangri-La Hotel, the Portuguese invited those present to pose for photos with him.

7) Jose Mourinho (June 2012)


Jose Mourinho signing autographs during his visit to the Singapore Sports School (SSP) campus on June 15, 2012. ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

The Special One was in town for a brief appearance at One-Altitude to promote the SOF-Peter Lim scholarship. He also gave a talk at the Singapore Sports School the next day, discussing his footballing philosophies before jetting off to Kuala Lumpur.

8) Edwin van der Sar (July 2011)


Former Manchester United and Holland goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar (left) signs a United jersey for Young Lions goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

The former Man United goalkeeper dropped by during the last leg of the Red Devils' Asia Trophy Tour. Not only did fans manage to come up close with the Dutchman, but they also managed to get a glimpse of the English Premier League trophy.

Van der Sar dropped by a Hublot watch boutique, entertained the media at the Jalan Besar Stadium and was also the star attraction at Brewerkz in Clarke Quay during his stay in the Republic.

ocharles@sph.com.sg