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July 23, 2019

MU Tour 2019: The Closest Gap Between Me and Manchester United Players!

It’s two days after I came back from Singapore and I still can’t believe that I did it. This was the best experience so far for me as a fan of Manchester United. A month before, I was at the point where the schedule was at the same time with Indonesian Continental Margin Survey schedule that I would be joining. Eventually, the survey was delayed. Even after that, I was still not sure to come to Singapore because one of my favorite band, Travis, perform at the same night on WeTheFest 2019 in Jakarta. At the end of the day, I chose Manchester United and I didn’t regret any times and money I spent on it. And yeah, finally I realized that this journey to Singapore was more than about football.

The atmosphere before kickoff!!!
I arrived at 9 in the morning and I just realized that this was the first time I went abroad alone. I know, I went to Saint Petersburg last year alone from Jakarta. But then I met Amina when my plane was transited in Doha and we’re picked up by Artyom and Natali when we arrived there. So, this was the first time I have to arrange everything. So, this was my itinerary: Merlion Park, Masjid Sultan, Bugis Junction, and National Stadium.

Marina Boulevard

Selfie in front of (besides, actually!) Merlion statue.
After buying a local SIM Card, I went down from arrival gate Terminal 3 Changi Airport to MRT Station. I bought a tourist pass card from the Kiosk machine there. I think it’s a good deal. I chose 2-days pass with only SGD 16. It’s a free pass to use every public transportation, such as MRT, LRT, bus service. Yes, it’s unlimited. Please note that there’s additional SGD 10 for the deposit that we can refund after we finished using it.

The gate to Masjid Sultan
It took around 50 minutes from Changi Airport MRT Station to Raffles Place MRT Station. From there, I walked around 10 minutes to Merlion Park. The reason I chose this as the first destination is that it is a Singapore landmark. You are considered to have visited Singapore if you have visited this place. After around 10 minutes of taking photos and selfies, I decided to move to another destination. It’s still around 12.10 and Dhuhur time’s still coming yet, so I decided to go to Bugis Junction first.
Bugis Junction is a shopping mall located at Victoria Street. The access is quite easy, only 2 stops away using MRT (East-West Line) from Merlion Park. I love how connected every place in Singapore is. I exited from the station and the next 10 steps I was already inside the mall. I directly ran into the 2nd floor and entered a shop called Premiere Football. Yeah, you already knew what it went next: a 2019/2020 Manchester United Home Jersey with my name and number 7 behind it was already in my hand in the next 30 minutes.

After lunch at one of the nice restaurant inside the mall, I walked around 600 meters to Masjid Sultan. It’s very lovely to walk around this city: wide pedestrian, well organized-traffic, and tourist-friendly signs. I met a lot of Manchester United fans from Indonesia there. I greeted them, and it was a fun thing to have a conversation using your language outside your country. I came with them after praying. We went to a lunch place in the Bugis area. It was like a cafeteria, and the food price was way lower than from the mall one. I already ate so I ordered ice tea. We talked a lot about Manchester United and everything else.

We wanted to try another transportation mode, so we decided to use a bus to go to the National Stadium. So, yeah. It was nice. I was able to see more from the city. We got off the bus at the nearest stop from the stadium. From there, we met another Manchester United fan group from various countries. When we were trying to make a group photo, there’s a teenager approaching us and offering us to take our photo. Suddenly I was amazed by how everyone there was united by one thing: football.

National Stadium
At 6.30 PM, we entered the stadium. It was one hour before the kickoff but the atmosphere was spectacular. The fans were getting more energetic when the players came in to do a training session. My seat was behind the goal, so I saw De Gea doing training with another player. I was not able to express my feeling with words how happy I was that my dream came true. I knew that I haven’t had an opportunity to shake their hands, but trust me, it’s enough to make it one of the greatest feeling I’ve ever had.

Training before the kickoff.
The next 90 minutes were intense. Man United had more pressure on the first half but still didn’t quite enough to score the goal. Some Inter Milan’s counter-attack was dangerous, but I like how well Man United defensive line managed it, especially Aroon Wan-Bissaka. This guy was so extraordinary. There’s a time Man United lose a ball, and Inter’s winger already took a counter-attack. I saw Wan-Bissaka was left behind the player with a significant distance. You know what, he ran with impressive speed and was able to catch up with the player. He even managed to slide him with the cleanest and beautiful clearance I’ve ever seen. Wow!

The best part of the match was, of course, the goal from Mason Greenwood at 76th minutes. It was a beautiful goal. It’s started with a free kick taken by Young. It was very good actually, but luckily the Inter’s goalkeeper, Handanovic, successfully punched it to the left side. However, Greenwood was there and after passing the defender he kicked the ball to the right area of the goal. The goalkeeper was not able to save it and, yeah you know the rest. The supporters that mostly Man United fans celebrated. The atmosphere was f****ng stunning!!! The other player that worth noted was Tahith Chong. The movement was splendid. He was even injured by Inter’s player and had to be subbed by Gomes at 92nd minutes.

A moment when Mason Greenwood kicked the ball and became a goal!
At 9.30 I already left the stadium and went to the hostel. I thought the day already ended as I was already sleepy when I arrived at the hostel. Then I met another Man United fan from Indonesia and we’re talking until 1 a.m. We talked about Man United, about the journey around Indonesia, and our dream to go to Old Trafford one day.

Woke up at 8.30 am and went to the airport in the next hour. Still can’t believe that this just happened.

2 komentar:

Gama Perkasa said...

Finally ya bi, you could watch MU directly. :P

Abi Dzikri Alghifari said...

Yes. It was an amazing experience.


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