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Vietnam, Arsenal ready for historic game

Vietnam, Arsenal ready for historic game

Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 08:27 GMT+7

Hanoi-based My Dinh Stadium will today host what is seen as a historic football exhibition match between the Vietnamese national team and English Premier League club Arsenal.

French coach Arsene Wenger and his squad arrived in the capital city on Monday, when they were greeted with rock-star welcome from local fans.

One of the fan, later dubbed the 'Running Man', even chased the club’s team bus nearly seven kilometers asking to meet his beloved coach and players, a desire that was eventually met.

The Arsenal squad were gifted with lotus and conical hat, which many of the players said are impressive and unique presents from Vietnam.

The Vietnamese team, led by local coach Hoang Van Phuc, will include both veteran players such as Cong Vinh, Phuoc Tu, and Tan Tai, and young footballers who will be in the main formation of the national team to compete at the upcoming SEA Games.

The EPL club meanwhile brought to Vietnam what it called the strongest squad, featuring stars like Theo Walcott, Podolski, Giroud, and Oxlade Chamberlain.

The Gunners also had some meeting and exchange with local fans and media prior to the Wednesday game.

Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna, Gedion Zelalem, Kris Olsson and Chuks Aneke joined in the fun at a Fan Party at the team's hotel in Hanoi on Tuesday, while Laurent Koscielny, Serge Gnabry and Lukasz Fabianski visited the Tran Quoc Pagoda.

Ignasi Miquel and Emi Martinez chose to visit the Nguyen Dinh Chieu School in Hanoi - the only school in Vietnam to teach both able and disabled students, where they had a unique experience of playing football blindfolded.

On the same day, coach Arsene Wenger and Mikel Arteta each had an exclusive interview with Tuoi Tre.

During the interviews, the coach stressed the importance of building a young force of players, which will help bring Vietnam close to the World Cup, while the Spanish midfielder said football brought him interesting experience about fellowship.

Above are some photos featuring the Arsenal’s Vietnam trip from Reuters.

The exhibition match will kick off at 07:00 p.m., and will be broadcast live on VTV2, VTC3, and HTV Sports. The game will also be covered on Arsenal’s official website, according to an announcement there.

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