APPIANO GENTILE - Inter will kick off 2010 with a friendly match against Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on 2 January, and the anticipation is already building across the Arab world. The official announcement came today at Inter's training ground before the Bologna-Inter press conference. It was made by Asian football's most respected player Nawaf Al-Temyat, who will bid farewell to football with a retirement match against the Nerazzurri after a long career littered with domestic and continental titles.
Nawaf, who won awards for Asian Player of the Year, Arab Player of the Year and Saudi Player of the Year in the year 2000, was accompanied to Appiano Gentile by Ahmed H. Al Groon, organiser of the event with Match Sport. Ahmed expressed his gratitude, saying that it's "a great honour" to receive the Nerazzurri in Riyadh, where Nawaf Al-Temyat "was a player who gave everything for his country and Arabian football."
The honour of participating in this match is wholly shared by FC Internazionale, represented in today's press conference by technical director Marco Branca and coach José Mourinho. Branca spoke of Nawaf's "great career", while Mourinho expressed the wish to "respect his name, his team and his fans by fielding the best Inter." Nawaf Al-Temyat said how legendary Inter are for him and spoke about the growing enthusiasm in Riyadh, where Al-Hilal draw an average of 70,000 fans for their matches. "The anticipation is incredible, and I hope that this will be a great, wonderful match between many famous friends," said the Saudi champion, reminding that gate receipts will be donated to provide assistance for disabled children."