Football

Soccer pre-season Asia tour

Published 0755 GMT (1555 HKT) July 23, 2013
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Vu Xuan Tien became Arsenal's unofficial mascot on the Hanoi leg of their pre-season Asia tour after he ran alongside the team's coach for several miles. Tien was then invited to lead the Arsenal players onto the pitch at the My Dinh stadium in Hanoi before their match against the Vietnamese national team, which they won 7-1. Chris McGrath/Getty Images
English Premier League football team Arsenal spent three days in Hanoi as part of its Asian tour. The team's manager Arsene Wenger signs a local photographer's t-shirt during a training sesssion at Hanoi's My Dinh stadium. HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images
The Gunners became the first Premier League team to play in Vietnam in a friendly match against the national team on July 17. "From a business perspective it is important we show our commitment to building our name around the world to become more attractive to potential commercial partners and to support some of our existing partners' business objectives for whom Asia is also an important market," an Arsenal spokeswoman told CNN. HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images
Meanwhile are travelling to Thailand, Malaysia, and for the first time, Indonesia. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images
Ashley Cole throws footballs to excited fans during a Chelsea training session at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Image
"It's a great experience for the players to see other nations and how much impact they have on people," .Dr Craig Duncan of the Australian Catholic University, who until recently was Sydney FC's head of human performance, told CNN. Here Chelsea fans cheer their team on during Tuesday's training session at the Rajamangala stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images
Players scramble as Manchester United's Ben Amos punches the ball away during a friendly between Singha All Star XI and Manchester United in Bangkok, Thailand. Alex Buttner picked up a hamstring strain in the friendly. Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Wayne Rooney didn't last long on United's tour, quickly returning to England with a hamstring injury. His future as a Manchester United player continues to be in doubt with Chelsea interested in buying the England forward. PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images
"Over 20,000 tickets have been sold for people to watch United train and over 80,000 will watch them play in Australia," said Dr Craig Duncan of the Australian Catholic University, who until recently was Sydney FC's head of human performance. "It's also a good opportunity for team building as getting away as a squad together gives time for activities to enhance team unity." GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's pre-season tour takes in Indonesia, Australia and Thailand. "Liverpool are hugely popular in the markets where we do business, and we are excited about the opportunity to continue to work with this fantastic club and their passionate fans," said Standard Chartered's chief executive Peter Sands after the bank extended its sponsorship deal with the Merseyside club. Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Indonesian fans show their support for the campaign to win justice for the families of the 96 people who died at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough football ground on 15 April in 1989 during an FA Cup semifinal between the Merseyside club and Nottingham Forest. Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty images
The biennial Barclays Asia Trophy is making a third visit to Hong Kong this week, with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland and South China taking part. Jessica Hromas/Getty Images