The Singapore leg of the 2018 International Champions Cup is done – here are 5 things you may have missed


The ICC in Singapore is over.
Facebook/International Champions Cup

The International Champions Cup’s (ICC) run in Singapore officially concluded on Monday (July 30) with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) defeating Atletico Madrid in a thrilling game that included an own goal, a boatload of substitutions (it is a pre-season game after all) and a last minute winner.

The victory meant that each team that participated shared the spoils equally, with Arsenal, Atletico and PSG all winning one game each.

In the course of the five days however, there has been so much happening that one would be forgiven for missing out on some of the more interesting occurrences during the tournament that takes place around the world.

Here are the five things I noticed at the annual friendly competition:

Everybody loved Ozil – including a referee who asked for his autograph

Arsenal captain for Saturday Mesut Ozil.
International Champions Cup

Mesut Ozil is arguably one of the most famous footballers on the planet. His recent retirement from international football shocked many but fans have been showering him with support.

In Singapore, it was no different. From the moment that Ozil appeared on the big screens as Arsenal played Atletico last Thursday, the crowd roared louder than they did for the entire game. And he was just sitting on the bench as the Gunners’ new manger Unai Emery saved him for the second game.

Then during that game against PSG on Saturday, as Ozil was lining up in the tunnel before kick-off, the referee asked him for his autograph, which clearly amused Ozil as he signed the ref’s yellow card.

The referee probably wont get to rub shoulders with football elite again, so who can blame him for trying?

That guy with the goggles 

19-year-old defender Francisco Montero.
International Champions Cup

Yes, he looked ridiculous.

But that did not stop 19-year-old defender Francisco Montero from adorning what looks like swimming googles for some reason during both games against PSG and Arsenal.

One would guess it would be to help with his vision, but whatever it was, let’s hope that it doesn’t become a footballing trend in which everybody starts looking like Joseph Schooling.

Arsenal’s ode to Singapore

The Arsenal kits.
International Champions Cup

Singapore sure does love Arsenal. During both games, there were loads of Arsenal fans that turned up to support the Gunners – the excitement of a new season with a different manager playing on their minds.

In a show of reciprocation, Arsenal responded by tweaking a small detail of their kit in a nod to the Lion City.

The design of the numbers for each jersey was changed so that classic Singaporean landmarks like the Singapore Flyer and the Merlion were featured on it, as seen on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Instagram Story.

It was a pretty cool tribute to the country which welcomed them with open arms.

PSG’s pair of “twins”

Adrien Rabiot and Yacine Adli.
International Champions Cup

When PSG footballer Adrien Rabiot made his way off the pitch during the game against Atletico, there probably weren’t a lot of people who noticed his departure.

That’s all down to midfielder Yacine Adli, who if you were up in the stands, would mistaken for Rabiot.

Both have shaggy long hair, they’re both midfielders, and they are even about the same height. Side by side in front of you, they even look vaguely similar.

Now imagine seeing it from the stands high above.

I wonder if even PSG manager Thomas Tuchel gets confused sometimes looking at the pair.

Maybe Singapore loves ArsenalFanTV as much as the football club

This fan in the middle got a little overwhelmed by Robbie.

ArsenalFanTV is a phenomenon.

The famous YouTube channel showing the best (and worst) of Arsenal fans’ joy and fury at the team is popular everywhere around the world, and this was no different in Singapore.

Robbie, the host and face of the channel, was surrounded by flocks of fans constantly, and judging from the reaction of one young bespectacled fan, he was a little overwhelmed.

Just watch his reaction in the video below:

The ICC in Singapore was a great showcase for both footballers renowned and for those that have yet to make their mark on the great game, and it was yet another reminder of how weird and wonderful the beatiful game can truly be.