SEOUL: Despite fatigue, jet-lag and injuries, Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho promised yesterday that his players will deliver the goods in today's friendly tie against South Korean champions Suwon Bluewings.
The fixture was announced after Bluewings owners Samsung Electronics signed a record US$96mil five-year sponsorship deal with Chelsea last month.
“I can promise ... that we will try to give the best possible game,” Mourinho told a press conference here, saying the match came at a “beautiful moment” for Chelsea, on the back of their championship triumph.
The Portuguese coach said that he had been deprived of some top players through injury and unavailability after a long season.
“So we tried to bring a good side and this is the only way to play against the Bluewings because they win everything in Korea, they win everything in Asia.”
Bluewings are the Korean and Asian champions coached by legendary former Bundesliga star Cha Beum-kun.
Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon said the visit was in line with the London club's drive to expand their commercial success in Asia, based on the partnership with global electronics leader Samsung.
“It is very exciting what is happening to football in this part of the world,” he said.
“I think you have got to look at this as a long term not a short term thing,” he said. “We have see our fan base grow 300 percent in the last three years.”
Chelsea, who arrived here Wednesday, left behind top players including Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben, Frank Lampard and John Terry, who were either injured or unavailable.
Bluewings coach Beum-Kun said he plans to field a strong side for the match at Suwon, 30km (19 miles) south of Seoul, despite the fact that the club are still engaged in a busy domestic season and in the defence of its Asian Championship title. – AFP