28/04/2022 - 12:16

Ronaldo expected to play in Perth

28/04/2022 - 12:16


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Schedule set for English football frenzy in Perth as government confirms yesterday's Business News exclusive.

Ronaldo expected to play in Perth
Tourism WA chair Di Bain flanked by former players Peter Withe, Jeff Hopkins and Dennis Irwin

The biggest name in world football, Cristiano Ronaldo, is expected to be part of the Manchester United team travelling to Western Australia in July.

United legend Dennis Irwin, who was at OPTUS Stadium for today's confirmation of an English Premier League festival in Perth, said Ronaldo, 37, still has a year on his contract with the club.

"We'll be bringing the full squad," Mr Irwin said. "We've got a new manager coming in and it's time for a reset of the club. This is perfect for pre-season and the environment and weather down here is ideal."

United will play Aston Villa, currently managed by former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard, at OPTUS on July 23.

London EPL club Crystal Palace will take on Leeds United the night before. The two matches are expected to attract more than 10,000 supporters from the eastern states and the event will be promoted in Singapore.

The 2019 visit to Perth by United netted more than $16 million in revenue for the state.

"We have State of Origin rugby league on June 26, the Wallabies against England on July 2, and these soccer matches are the icing on the cake," said Tourism Minister Roger Cook. "You can see that we want to continue to use events like this to promote Western Australia. I want Perth to be one of the top three event capitals in South-East Asia."

Mr Cook said the added incentive for Ronaldo to travel to Perth was to see family members who live here.

United have had a disappointing season and with four games remaining will struggle to make the crucial top four in the EPL.

"It's been a difficult year for us," Mr Irwin said. "We've suffered big defeats against our two biggest rivals. You can't hideaway from it being a poor year. We're excited that Erik ter Hag is coming in as manager. He's done a great job at Ajax and the pre-season down here gives him a great opportunity."

Palace, Villa and Leeds are currently 14th, 15th and 16th on the ladder and tickets go on sale for all the matches on May 5.






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