Unforgettable presents: CEO of Inter Milan soccer club Ernesto Paolillo (second right) poses for the press after delivering the club’s official jerseys to Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) chief Djohar Arifin Husin (second left), MNC Group CEO Hary Tanoesoedibjo (left) and Inter Milan’s promoter Entong Nursanto in Jakarta on Monday. Antara/Puspa Perwitasari
Multi Serie A league champion soccer team Inter Milan has confirmed its plan to visit Jakarta to play Indonesia’s national teams.
During the matches, dubbed Internazionale Indonesia Tour 2012, Inter Milan will play friendly matches against Indonesia’s Selection team and Under-23 squad on May 24 and 26, and will also hold coaching clinic sessions.
Inter Milan chief executive officer Ernesto Paolillo said that midfielder Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands as well as midfielder Thiago Motta, forward Giampaolo Pazzini and defender Andrea Ranocchia of Italy would not take part in the tour due to their involvement in respective national teams for the UEFA Championship starting June.
“We’re happy and honored to announce to you that Inter Milan will come to Indonesia and play two games by the end of May,” Paolillo told a press conference in Jakarta on Monday.
Despite the absent players, he said, Inter Milan would still provide the highest entertainment for Indonesian viewers by featuring, among other players, captain and defender Javier Zanetti, Uruguayan forward Diego Forlan as well as rising star Yuto Nagamoto of Japan.
“We’ve chosen Indonesia because we have many supporters here. More than 15,000 fans are here, which is the biggest in Asia,” said Paolillo, adding that he believed that a big number of Interisti, die-hard fans of the club, would come to Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta, for the upcoming two bouts.
Indonesia is the only country that Inter Milan will visit during the summer break.
Besides bringing the club to the country, Paolillo said that the club would also set up a soccer academy in Indonesia. “With a large population, Indonesia has potential in football.
“We are planning to open an academy here, or possibly two [academies] if necessary, to scout some talents,” said Paolillo, without offering details of the plan.
Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) chairman Djohar Arifin Husin said that facing world soccer giants Inter would boost the morale of Indonesia’s players.
“It is always good to face and play against top players, which hopefully can inspire them and strengthen their fighting morale.”
Djohar said he hoped that more European soccer clubs would come to play friendly matches against
Indonesia’s national squads.
Tickets for the match are available already, with prices ranging from Rp 75,000 (US$8.3) to Rp 5 million. To purchase tickets, call (+62-21)-90473804 or (+62-21)-90475743.