Manchester United to help football grow in PH

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MANILA -- Manchester United wants football to grow around the world - even in a basketball-crazy nation like the Philippines.

The decorated football club saw a crack at propagating the game in the country and joined hands with CLEAR, which has been committed to that cause since bringing in some football icons in the country in the past two years.

"I think we understand that basketball is the number one sport here," Jamie Reigle, Manchester U's managing director for Asia Pacific, said.

"But we also know that there is a huge interest and passion in football. And one of our key missions in Manchester United is to help  football grow around the world so we saw an opportunity in the Philippines and thought we can contribute to that."

CLEAR, which brought in football legends Fabio Cannavaro and Dennis Wise last year to highlight the Clear Dream Match 2, is in a "multi-year partnership" with Machester United and they will hold a training camp facilitated by reknowned coaches in the sport to "make football even bigger here."

"(If we wanna make football bigger here) why not partner with probably the most iconic football club in the world?" Gina Lorenzana, Vice President of Unilever Personal Care, said before a group of reporters in a briefing at the Makati Shangri-La.

"We want football to be just as big as basketball."

The Manchester United Soccer School, which produced the likes of 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Christiano Ronaldo and David Beckham, will teach 32 amateur footballers the tricks and trades of the game in an "intense and rigourous" program.

Tryouts will be held in Cebu (March 22), Iloilo (March 23), Metron Manila (March 25-26), and Davao (March 29). Amateur players aged 17 and above are qualified to strut their wares.

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Jan Ballesteros Jan Ballesteros Solar Sports Desk Junior Editor
@janbballesteros
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