“I know that the fans are completely in love, first of all with football and after that with people”
“I remember being in Bangkok once and one of my Asian friends took me to a United restaurant where the supporters gather together. I had to wear a different jacket because I was the manager of another club at the time!”
It is just as well, though, that the new United boss is used to the demanding and sometimes frustrating nature of pre-season tours to the Far East.
The club’s multinational squad endured a two-hour hold-up for passport and visa checks at Shanghai Pudong airport which caused havoc with their carefully planned schedule yesterday.
Then it was time to dance to the money men’s tune.
First stop for the whole squad was the Shanghai launch of Chevrolet’s new car, followed by events with Gulf Oil, Casillero del Diablo – the official wine partner – and Uni-President, the Taiwan-based food company.
On their way into the city, Mourinho and his players would have noted the giant billboards carrying images of Wayne Rooney, Daley Blind and Memphis alongside Chevrolet’s new vehicle, while inside the hotel the specially designed Gulf Oil barrels – bearing Rooney’s image – were everywhere.
Skipper Rooney was greeted with excited cheers and flashbulbs when he arrived with Ander Herrera and new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan for a question and answer session with fans.