Football: PSG, Atletico squads arrive in Singapore for International Champions Cup

Football: PSG, Atletico squads arrive in Singapore for International Champions Cup

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon signing an autograph. (Photo: International Champions Cup)

SINGAPORE: French league champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Spain's Atletico Madrid arrived in Singapore on Wednesday (Jul 25) ahead of the 2018 International Champions Cup (ICC), which kicks off at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Both teams received a warm welcome from fans despite the absence of several notable stars. 

PSG did not include Brazilian superstar Neymar and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe in the travelling party. Club captain Thiago Silva and forwards Angel Di Maria and Edinson Cavani were also left out, as they are on an extended break after featuring at the World Cup. 

PSG with fans
Paris Saint-Germain players posing for photographs. (Photo: International Champions Cup)

PSG fans were nonetheless excited by the presence of legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and German midfielder Julian Draxler who took time to pose for photos and sign autographs. 

Buffon 2
Layvin Kurzawa (left) with Gianluigi Buffon. (Photo: International Champions Cup)

PSG stars Adrien Rabiot, Kevin Trapp and Marco Verratti are also in Singapore.

PSG arrive in Singapore
Clockwise from top left: Adrien Rabiot, manager Thomas Tuchel, Julian Draxler and Marco Verratti. (Photo: International Champions Cup)

Meanwhile, Atletico were missing the likes of Diego Costa, Saul Niguez, Koke, Diego Godin, Jose Giminez, Sime Vrsaljko and Filipe Luis. World Cup winners Lucas Hernandez, Antoine Griezmann and Thomas Lemar were left out as well. 

Goalkeeper Jan Oblak, Vitolo, Angel Correa, Kevin Gameiro, Luciano Vietto and the long-serving Juanfran are the only recognisable names who made the trip to Singapore. 

Oblak took time to sign autographs, delighting fans who had been waiting for the team's arrival.

Jan Oblak in Singapore
Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak signs autographs for a young fan after arriving in Singapore. (Photo: International Champions Cup)

Kevin Gameiro (left), coach Diego Simeone and veteran defender Juanfran
Striker Kevin Gameiro (left), coach Diego Simeone (centre) and veteran defender Juanfran (right) have travelled to Singapore. (Photos: International Champions Cup)

The International Champions Cup will feature three matches at the Singapore National Stadium. Atletico will face Arsenal on Thursday in the first match, before PSG take on the English Premier League side two days later. The Spanish La Liga club will face the seven-time French champions in the last match on Jul 30.

Singapore is the only Asian stop for the ICC's 27 matches, which will also be played in the United States and Europe.

Source: CNA/na/(gs)