Football: Valencia Football Club to play friendly at National Stadium next year

Valencia head coach Pako Ayestaran speaking at a press conference on May 18, 2016.
Valencia head coach Pako Ayestaran speaking at a press conference on May 18, 2016. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
 Current and former Valencia players (from right) Jaume Domenech, Santi Mina, Javi Fuego, Mathew Ryan and David Albelda at the press conference on May 18, 2016.
Current and former Valencia players (from right) Jaume Domenech, Santi Mina, Javi Fuego, Mathew Ryan and David Albelda at the press conference on May 18, 2016. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

SINGAPORE - Spanish football team Valencia, owned by Singapore billionaire Peter Lim, will play at least one friendly here next year at the National Stadium.

The match will be part of a series of outreach activities the club has lined up. Dubbed the "Singapore Football Festival", it is organised in partnership with La Liga and the Football Association of Singapore.

Peter Draper, the club's commercial and marketing director, said at a press conference on Wednesday (May 18): "We see this as an opportunity to celebrate, in our own distinctive way, what Pele called 'The Beautiful Game' here in Singapore while encouraging participation, developing excellence and celebrating success."

Also present at the announcement are Valencia chairman Chan Lay Hoon, coach Pako Ayestaran, first team players Santi Mina, Mathew Ryan, Jaume Domenech and Javi Fuego, as well as La Liga ambassadors Gaizka Mendieta and David Albelda, who are both former Valencia players.

Aside from their tour next year, the club also unveiled a three-year partnership with S-League club Geylang International. The deal will see both sides collaborating to hold football clinics in Bedok.

A coach from the Valencia academy will be brought here to helm the initiative as a technical director. The first session is expected to kick off next month, and Geylang officials said registration details will be revealed soon.

The players are in town for the week and will be attending a series of events, among them Friday's Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim scholarship presentation at ITE College East.

On Thursday, the players and Ayestaran will be making a public appearance at Lladro Boutique at Paragon shopping mall.

Lim bought the club in 2014 for €420 million (S$656 million). They finished 12th in the recently-concluded La Liga season with 44 points, 47 points behind champions Barcelona.