Football: Inter Milan reaches out to fans in Singapore

Inter Milan fans celebrate after the International Champions Cup match held at the National Stadium on 27 July, 2017. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Inter Milan's Antonio Candreva (third from right) trains with teammates during their second training session at Bishan stadium on 28 July, 2017. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Despite their 2-0 victory over German giants Bayern Munich last night in their opening International Champions Cup Singapore friendly, Inter Milan did not rest on their laurels and went straight back to the training ground on Friday (July 28).

However, the Italian Serie A side did not forget their loyal supporters and made an effort to reach out to them throughout the day, beginning with a fan lunch session hosted by club ambassador Diego Milito at Lau Pa Sat.

Over pizza and french fries, a few lucky fans got the chance to quiz the club legend on his playing days and his hopes for the team this coming season.

Among them was Indonesian civil servant Bayhaqu Hamdan Syahbuddin, 27, who flew in from Jakarta on Thursday to catch his favourite team in action. He said: "I have been watching Inter for over 18 years, but to meet him... It's really great... the euphoria is still there. He (Milito) told me that he loves Inter and will do whatever he can to help them in his new role as club ambassador."

Milito then visited Inter Milan's official formal wear sponsor Brooks Brothers at their Raffles City outlet in the evening for a closed meet-and-greet event.

The former Argentinian international striker happily obliged, signing autographs and posing for pictures with eager fans.

Inter Milan players (from left to right) Andrea Pinamonti, Cristian Ansaldi, Danilo D'Ambrosio and Antonio Candreva speaking to guests at a visit to their official formalwear tailor Brooks Brothers. ST PHOTO: NICHOLAS DE SILVA

Spalletti together with Inter players Andrea Pinamonti, Cristian Ansaldi, Danilo D'Ambrosio and Antonio Candreva also graced the event, arriving shortly after.

During the informal chat session, the players rued their tight schedule which prevented them from taking in the sights and sounds of Singapore.

Still, the city did leave a positive impression on them.

"It's a very friendly and clean city and we're looking forward to staying here awhile longer," said D'Ambrosio.

"We hope to return in the future... maybe for a holiday and try some of the local food," added Ansaldi.

For Byron Teo, who has been supporting the team since 1988, the chance to rub shoulders with the players was an unexpected surprise.

The 41-year-old operations manager said:"This is their first time here. I watched the match against Bayern and thought that was it so to shake hands with them here... I'm really happy."

Inter play Chelsea on Saturday in the final fixture of the ICC Singapore, where a Nerazzurri victory will see them lift the trophy.

"We have been working in a very serious way. Even if it's just a friendly, we are looking to get good results," said Spalletti on the upcoming encounter with the English Premier League champions.

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