The AC Milan Glories have officially arrived in Jakarta for Saturday’s charity match at Gelora Bung Karno.
The Italian squad landed late on Wednesday, bringing most of its notable players, including former captain Paolo Maldini, goalkeeper Massimo Taibi and forward Andriy Shevchenko, to play the Indonesia All-Star Legends.
Former defender Alesandro Costacurta said he was happy that the team received a warm welcome and promised to play a memorable match.
“Last year, we won 5-1, but it’s different this year. I know Indonesia will field a stronger team. But, please don’t be too strong, because then we will lose,” Costacurta told reporters jokingly.
Indonesia’s outfit is comprised of members from the country’s Primavera and Baretti squads, which played in the Italian youth competition in the 1990s.
Players such as Kurniawan Dwi Julianto and Bambang Pamungkas will reunite with Danurwindo, the head coach of the Primavera team.
Some active players, like Sriwijaya FC’s Ponaryo Astaman, Persib Bandung’s Firman Utina and Persija Jakarta’s Ismed Sofyan, will also be on the team.
In a little quip to the opposition, Costacurta told the Indonesians that they will need to bring their best game to the match.
“Are you a striker?” he asked Bambang Pamungkas, who also attended the press conference. “I’m a defender, and I will not let you run past the defense.”
The team visited Indonesia for the first time in September 2011 as part of its Asia Disaster Relief Tour. The AC Milan Foundation donated $50,000 to the country’s disaster victims, and proceeds from the match went to Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization .
AC Milan defender Roque Junior said that he would not mind competing in an exhibition match in the archipelago every year.
“I’m really happy to be here. I believe it’s nice to have the game every year. We hope for good match because everybody is happy to play the game,” he said.
The team is scheduled to attend a coaching clinic on Saturday morning before commencing the match in the afternoon.