Asia Tour Insider - Day Five

Tour Insider

He's perhaps not best known for his fancy footwork, but Per Mertesacker wowed the crowds in Vietnam on Tuesday with a nifty display of dancing.

The uncompromising defender was one of five players at a fan party held in Hanoi, and he stole the show with an impromptu dance routine on stage in front of more than 400 excitable supporters.



Per had just encouraged Gedion Zelalem and Kris Olsson to reprise their 'first-team initiation' songs in front of the audience. So after the young duo had performed 'We Will Rock You' (Gedion) and the Swedish national anthem (Kris), the crowd demanded Per take centre stage too.

The big German invited an awestruck supporter from the audience to sing a Vietnamese favourite, while he moved around the stage flapping his arms. At times it was difficult to tell whether it was the fans or the players who were enjoying the event more.



Not to be outdone, Bacary Sagna sang the full-length version of La Marseillaise before Chuks Aneke performed the British national anthem - ably assisted by Keith Martin, one of the supporters who have come over from England to watch the tour friendlies.

The fan party was just one of a number of activities on a packed schedule. The players began the day with an intense and high-tempo training session - it seems the match against Indonesia had certainly sharpened the senses - before each member of the squad participated in a fan or commercial event. These included a trip to Tran Quoc Pagoda, an Emirates Soccer Clinic and a visit to a local school.

No sooner had these events finished though and it was back on the bus, bound for another training session, this time in front of 20,000 fans at the My Dinh National Stadium.



The humid conditions made for another grueling session, though the constant noise from the spectators must have added an extra spring to the step, as every touch was greeted with cheers. The evening concluded with players throwing hats and gifts into the crowd, which elevated the fervour in the stands.

On Wednesday the same stadium will host a friendly against a Vietnam XI, and the decibel levels will be cranked up further still.

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