KUALA LUMPUR: Some 200 football fans thronged a sports equipment store at the Gardens, Mid Valley Megamall, here yesterday just to catch a glimpse of a few Liverpool players who came for a meet-the-fans session.
REDS MANIA... The Liverpool football team is proving to be a big hit with Malaysian fans as big crowds turn up everywhere the Reds go in Kuala Lumpur. Several thousand excited fans packed the Pavilion shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur where six Liverpool players launched the Standard Chartered-Liverpool FC MasterCard debit card yesterday. Sotirios Kyrgiakos (right), Andy Carroll, Raul Meireles, Christian Poulsen, John Flanagan, Jamie Carragher and coach Steve Clarke were at the event. Liverpool will play Malaysia in a friendly match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight. — NST picture by Mohd Fadli Hamzah
Fans gathered at the Adidas store as early as 1pm even though the players were only scheduled to arrive two hours later.
Avid Liverpool fan Badio Darimi, 25, said some of the lucky fans were able to get closer thanks to passes from Adidas after a RM350 purchase while others were contest winners.
On the match tonight between Liverpool and the national team, he said he was torn between his love for the team and his nationalistic pride.
"I want Liverpool to win in this historic visit but not by a landslide because after all I am still Malaysian. If the training was anything to go by, I think the match will be a sellout," he added.
Satheesan Manian, 42, along with close friend Vasu Selatory, 40, daughter Suangeline, 7, and nephew Calvin, 10, said that he has been a Liverpool fan since young and was extremely disappointed that Steven Gerrard couldn't be a part of this historic match.
"I brought the whole family because this is a rare chance to watch Liverpool in Malaysia. I hope they win and I hope there are many goals in the match, but I also do hope Malaysia scores some goals as well," he said.
Entrances to the Adidas store were sealed off as Dirk Kuyt led a group of Liverpool players about 3pm to the delight of fans.