BANGKOK (AFP) – Hundreds of cheering fans greeted Manchester United as they arrived in Thailand with new manager David Moyes at the start of a busy pre-season of Asian tours by European clubs.
A smiling Moyes performed a traditional Thai bow and greeting to supporters and media as the squad, looking tired and wearing suits with trainers, arrived by private jet at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport.
The visitors then boarded a huge bus emblazoned with the words “United in Thailand” and drove to their five-star downtown hotel, where they were welcomed by more fans holding banners and scarves.
Moyes and United great Ryan Giggs also drew crowds for their visit to Siriraj hospital, where they paid their respects and brought a large bunch of flowers for Thailand’s revered king and queen, who are both unwell.
England striker Wayne Rooney, at the centre of intense speculation about his future after he asked for a transfer, walked with his head down and did not talk to media as he arrived with his team-mates.
Moyes, taking over after Alex Ferguson’s 27-year, 38-trophy career at the club, will lead out the team for the first time against a Thai All-Star XI in Bangkok on Saturday.
Manchester United are the first to arrive in what will be a bumper Asian pre-season for European clubs, with Chelsea also due in Bangkok this week and Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool among the other clubs headed to the region.
Photo Credit: AFP/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul