Atletico Madrid to play TPL all-star in friendly (27/07/2010)

Europa League champions Atletico Madrid will play a friendly with an all-star Thai Premier League side next month, organisers confirmed yesterday.

The match will take place at Rajamangala stadium on Aug 1 at 6pm, Siam Sport Syndicate said.

The Rajamangala Nationalstadium was announced as the venue for this event and the kick off will be at 17:00 local time. Atletico than will face a so called, TPL All-Star team which will contains players, picked from several Thai Premier League clubs. The lineup of the squad is not known up to now. But most likely, players like Michael Byrne, Therdsak Chaiman, Nattapon Phanrit und Teerasil Dangda will be picked. Former Thai international Piyapong Piew-on will be named as coach for the Thai side. Piyapong hitted the net 103 times for Thailand.

Atletico Madrid is expected to arrive on 31 July, while their departure is scheduled for the 2 August. The Imperial Queen's Park Hotel in Bangkok was chosen as their accommodation. At the same location, a banquet is scheduled for the players right after the match. Which players are picked by coach Quique Flores is not known yet as well. But it will be most unlikely that Diego Forlán and Sergio Aguero will travel to Thailand. Due to the recent World Cup, both may still remain on vacation.

While a friendly between English club Newcastle and Spanish side Sevilla has been cancelled because of the high organising cost.

Atthachai Burakamkovit, permanent secretary for tourism and sports, said the match was orginally scheduled for July 28 as part of the celebrations of Her Majesty the Queen's birthday on August 12.

However, a number of officials were against organising the match because the ministry needed about 120 million baht to stage the match, he said.

"I am sorry for the fans," said Atthachai.

In another development, Spanish giants Real Madrid have turned down Thailand's offer to play a friendly here.

Some reports say the Madrid side did not have a plan to come to Asia this summer, while others claim they were scared away by the political situation in Thailand.