SINGAPORE - About 50 fans turned up on Sunday morning at Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore to welcome English Premier League champions Chelsea to the Republic.
A clutch of die-hard fans followed the Blues from Changi Airport's private CIP terminal, where they touched down, all the way to the hotel.
The team had arrived on an overnight flight from Beijing, where they beat Arsenal 3-0 in a pre-season friendly before a crowd of over 55,000 at the famed Bird's Nest Stadium.
Even though none of them got an autograph from any of their idols, the fans were rewarded with a glimpse of the stars.
Kyle Baptist, 20, a final-year Temasek Polytechnic student, who had waited at the airport since 2am and did not sleep last night, said: "If you know me, I don't wake up until 3pm to 4pm on Sundays. I just want a picture or autograph of anyone and frame up my jersey."
Mohamed Al-Fadil, 27, who is self-employed, reached the Changi Airport at 5am, said: "It's the most adventurous thing I have done. I have never chased any team like this before, just to have a glimpse of them, to see the team I've been supporting. I was so starstruck."
Navin Pampan, 25, who has just graduated from university, chanted Chelsea's cheers loudly as the team alighted from the bus at the hotel.
He said: "I couldn't sleep because I was too excited, My favourite players are actually John Terry and Eden Hazard but one left and the other is not coming so. I guess if we make enough noise Alvaro Morata will come down from his room."
Morata, Chelsea's new €80 million (S$127 million) signing from Real Madrid, arrived on Saturday.
The ICC will see Chelsea play German champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday and Italian giants Inter Milan on Saturday. Bayern and Inter face off on Thursday. All matches are at the National Stadium.