By Thasong Asvasena
Manchester United star Nani was at the Super Kick indoor arena in Bangkok yesterday to sharpen the skills of young Thai soccer players.
He was there at the invitation of Thai Yamaha Motor Co as part of its ongoing under-13s Asean football tournament. A group of 100 youth players from Yamaha-sponsored SCG Muang Thong United donned Nani’s famous No 17 jersey for a training session under the guidance of the Portuguese star.
Nani also featured in a penalty shoot-out against Thailand team striker Theerasil Daengda, with goalkeeper Kawin Thammasajjanant between the posts. The shoot-out ended in a 2-2 draw after Nani missed a penalty taken with his weaker left foot.
The venue off Soi Latphrao 80 was packed with media and football fans, who cheered on the United player on this, his first trip to Thailand.
“Nani’s skills will help sharpen those of Thai children in this football clinic and his fame will be an inspiration for young players to follow in his footsteps,” said Yamaha’s head of special events Pitak Thabthim.
The Bt5.5-million event is part of Yamaha’s “Do>> Innovative” campaign to promote football both at professional and youth levels and complement its sponsorships of Thai Premier League teams and the televising of competitions such as the English Premier League.
The Yamaha Asean Cup U-13 Football tournament is underway, with the winners of the national competition – Assumption Thon Buri’s youth team – scheduled to enter the international finals in Malaysia from July 12-16.
Yamaha’s football clinics are set to continue over the summer, with more surprise star guests as hosts.