Thai Premier League champions Muang Thong United yesterday announced a strategic alliance with Spanish side Atletico Madrid. The partnership will see the two teams exchanging players, playing friendly matches together and selling each others merchandise in their stadiums.
Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Gil was in Bangkok to sign the contract with Muang Thong United’s Deputy Chairman Wiluck Lohtong. The ceremony was also witnessed by the Spanish Ambassador, Ignacio Sagaz and FAT Chairman Suwat Liptapanlop.
Gil believes that the arrangement will benefit both teams,
“This is an important day for Atletico Madrid. I want to congratulate Muang Thong United for winning the Thai Premier League for the second consecutive year this is a sign of the good work the club is doing. I think this agreement will have sporting, commercial and economic benefits for both teams. I hope it will encourage more Thai fans to follow the Spanish league and more Spanish fans to follow the Thai league”he said.
According to Gill his team were so impressed by the reception they received when they travelled to Thailand to play a friendly against the Thai Premier League All Stars team earlier this year that they decided to look into forming a partnership with a Thai team.
Muang Thong United goalkeeper Kawin Thamasatchen will be having a trial with Manchester United in January and former Muang Thong United midfielder Yaya Soumahoro has been in extremely impressive form since joining Belgium side Gent earlier thus year.
The arrangement between the two teams could see players like this moving to Atletico Madrid in future with some of the Spanish team’s fringe players moving in the opposite direction.
Atletico Madrid are the reigning Europe League Champions and one of the top teams in Spain but Gil believes that it is possible a Thai player could one day make the move from Muang Thong United to Spain,
“I hope that in the not too distant future we could have a Thai player in our squad”he said.
Muang Thong United coach René Desaeyere thinks that it is unlikely that any Spanish players would be willing to make the move to Thailand but hopes that some South American players on the periphery of the Atletico Madrid squad might join Muang Thong United before the start of the new season.