SINGAPORE: Football mega-star Cristiano Ronaldo jetted into Singapore for a flying visit to Valencia owner Peter Lim and his family Friday on his way to a media event in China.
Dozens of fans and journalists swarmed the Real Madrid forward but were held back by security as the world footballer of the year dropped by a private hospital to visit Lim’s daughter, Kim, and her newborn baby.
In the hospital lobby, burly bodyguards ushered Ronaldo past fans jostling with media for a picture of their hero, while others who had brought paraphernalia hoping for autographs were left disappointed. He was later smuggled out of a separate exit.
Ronaldo was due to sign an endorsement deal and meet Singaporean billionaire Lim for dinner later in the day. No details of the endorsement deal were released.
Lim is the owner of Hong Kong-based Mint Media, which controls all image rights for Ronaldo, except those relating to Real Madrid.
Lim’s publicists said Ronaldo is on his way to China for a Mint Media event.
Lim bought cash-strapped Valencia in 2014, giving it a fresh injection of funds and bringing new management.
But the Spanish club has struggled to turn its fortunes around, with Lim’s management under severe criticism from the club’s fan base.
He has hired six coaches in the past two years and Valencia’s Singaporean chairwoman Layhoon Chan stepped down earlier this month.