SINGAPORE: Hundreds of fans crowded into the south plaza of Our Tampines Hub on Wednesday (Jul 3) to catch a glimpse of football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo during a surprise visit to Singapore.
The Portuguese and Juventus forward entered one of the indoor courts, which was hidden from view with black screens over the fences. Our Tampines Hub said on its Facebook page it could not "divulge any further details".
He put up an Instagram story on Tuesday night showing him shaking hands with Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim.
At about 5pm, Ronaldo emerged to loud cheers from fans, waving at them and giving a thumbs-up sign before leaving in an escorted car.
For train captain Nur Haqim, 24, seeing the superstar in the flesh was worth the effort. He had taken the afternoon off at the last minute to be there.
“I was really shocked when I first heard that Ronaldo (was here) and I even took half day (off) to come and see him,” he said.
“I was hopeful for a photo and autograph because he usually does so whenever he’s in Spain or Italy.
“He gave the thumbs up and that was good enough for me. I anticipated the wrong side where he was sitting, and I feel so sad to have missed my chance.”
St Hilda’s Secondary School student Harini Jagatheeswaran, 17, noticed the huge crowd gathering at the south plaza of the hub on her way home.
“When I first saw the updates online and from my friends, I didn’t really believe them but when I saw the crowd on the way home, it proved me wrong,” she said.
“Having waited for about two to three hours, I felt it was worth it because I’ve seen him on TV, but to see him in real life, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m glad I took it.”
In the crowd was Amirul Ashraf, 17, who was seeing his idol for the second time, having met the forward in Spain a few years back.
“I’ve been in line for about four hours,” he added. “I was a bit disappointed when he just drove past, because I was expecting him to come on foot and take some pictures.
“But that’s all right I guess, because I’m very excited to see him at the International Champions Cup.”
Fans of the Juventus forward will be hoping to see him in action when the Italian champions take on Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur at the National Stadium on Jul 21 as part of the International Champions Cup.