By Shane McGinley
Six-day winter tour will see debut appearance of club’s new signing, Antonio Cassano.
Players from Italian football club AC Milan, whose main sponsor is Dubai-based Emirates Airline, arrived in the emirate on Wednesday for the start of a six-day tour that will culminate in the Emirates Challenge Cup on January 2.
The team’s line-up includes Brazilians Ronaldinho, Robinho and Pato, who arrived from Sao Paulo on Tuesday and other players, such as Massimo Ambrosini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Clarence Seedorf, who arrived from bases in Europe, North America and Africa.
The AC Milan Winter Tour will also include recent signing Antonio Cassano, who will play his first match for the Fly Emirates AC Milan team against Al Ahli on January 2 at Dubai’s Rashid Stadium.
Over the next six days, the seven-time UEFA Champions League winners will train at the Al Ahli Football Club, which will be open to the public.
This is the third time the Italian club has held winter training sessions in Dubai and follows a February sponsorship deal with flagship carrier Emirates Airline. The carrier paid AED300m ($81.67m) to become the team’s official shirt sponsor over the next five-years.
"You can feel the buzz when these guys arrive in town - they are idols to so many people around the world and it is a real pleasure to have them performing again in Dubai," said Mohammed Mattar, Emirates' senior vice president of airport services.
"Local fans will also be the first to see the new signing Cassano play a match when he appears against Al Ahli Club on Sunday.”For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.