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Thai football fans found themselves in distress after learning that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be joining Manchester United on their pre-season tour in Bangkok.
As Ronaldo was given additional time off to deal with a family issue, the fan-favourite striker will not be part of the squad flying to Bangkok on Friday for the pre-season match against Liverpool next week.
The news sparked outcry among the Thai fans who already purchased their tickets without knowing they would miss a chance of seeing Ronaldo live in the stadium.
“Not only do we lose money, but we are also disappointed,” said one fanpage of Italian player Mario Balotelli, which has over 184,000 followers.
For some fans, seeing the game firsthand is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some have spent their savings to secure a ticket, which is likely cheaper than traveling abroad, only to discover that their star player will not be joining.
“If I was informed earlier, it would certainly affect my decision (to book a ticket),” a netizen commented.
The pre-season ticket sales began in April with the prices ranging from 5,000 (US$139) to 25,000 baht (US$694).
Following the game in Bangkok, Ronaldo is also expected to miss the pre-season tour in Australia. He has prompted speculation after reportedly telling the club that he wants to leave in order to play in the Champions League next season.