|Chelsea captain John Terry autographing a fan’s jersey at One World Hotel in Petaling Jaya yesterday. — NST picture by Osman Adnan|
PETALING JAYA: Chelsea's star-studded squad arrived to a hero's welcome at the One World Hotel here yesterday, ahead of their pre-season tour of Asia.
They were mobbed by fans, who were at the hotel lobby as early as 10am to catch a glimpse of the players. The fans did not go home disappointed as some players, including Spain's striker Fernando Torres, obliged by signing autographs.
The Blues will take on a Malaysian Selection, comprising mostly players from the Olympic squad, on Thursday.
Chelsea are already two games into their pre-season campaign, following successive wins over Portsmouth and Wycombe Wanderers.
New manager, Andre Villas-Boas, who has brought a 26-man squad with him to Asia, has urged his players to prove they are worth a place in his line-up when the new season kicks off on Aug 13.
"I have 15 days in Asia and I think I need these four games to continue to assess," said Villas-Boas. England international Frank Lampard and Serbia's Branislav Ivanovic were also at the press conference.
Villas-Boas will put his squad through its paces at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 Chelsea fans gathered at Balai Berita in Kuala Lumpur to collect free tickets for Thursday's match from the New Straits Times Press. One ardent fan, Mohammaed Zharif Qhalis Mohammad Khir from Raub, Pahang, was already queuing up at 6.15am and went home happy after receiving his ticket.
|Mohammaed Zharif Qhalis Mohammad Khir could not contain his joy after he became the first to get a ticket to catch his favourite team play against Malaysia on Thursday. Zharif had come all the way from Raub, Pahang, to Balai Berita, Bangsar, and queued up since 6.15am to get his hands on the free ticket, which he exchanged with seven Harian Metro mastheads. — NST picture by Nik Hariff Hassan|
Tickets priced at RM388, RM108, RM68 and RM58 are available online at www.ticketpro.com.my and can also be purchased from the Ticketpro Hotline at 03-78807999 and Ticketpro outlets.
New Straits Times is an official media partner of the Chelsea Asia Tour. -NST