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Lions goalie Hassan Sunny visits Shanghai, gets warm welcome from Chinese fans

Lions goalie Hassan Sunny visits Shanghai, gets warm welcome from Chinese fans
Lions goalkeeper Hassan Sunny signed autographs and took photos with fans in Shanghai, China, on June 16.
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

A week after Lions goalkeeper Hassan Sunny shot to overnight fame in China, the 40-year-old was spotted in Shanghai, much to the delight of Chinese football fans who jumped at the chance to meet him in person.

At the invitation of real estate firm CapitaLand, Hassan and his family visited the city on Sunday (June 16), reported The Straits Times.

News of his arrival in Shanghai quickly spread on Chinese social media after the football player was spotted at the airport. Fans soon gathered at the three CapitaLand malls where Hassan was scheduled to visit that day.

The veteran goalkeeper first visited Raffles City Changning in the morning, where he signed autographs and took photos with fans.

Next on the list was Hongkou Plaza, where Hassan — who owns the Muslim food stall Dapur Hassan in Singapore — put together a plate of nasi lemak.

Following that, he visited a children's football class held at Raffles City The Bund.

According to Lianhe Zaobao, one of the malls had to deploy additional security guards to maintain order due to the sea of fans waiting outside.

One of the fans, surnamed Zhou, told Zaobao he had visited Raffles City The Bund in the afternoon after failing to meet Hassan in the morning.

Zhou eventually got his signature after waiting outside the restaurant where the goalkeeper was having dinner.

"I have no more regrets today," the fan told reporters.

Another fan, 19-year-old student Zhang Hanyuan, told The Straits Times: "I think Hassan has great professionalism.

"He persevered till the last moment in the Singapore-Thailand match, and you could say he helped China get into the final 18. So I'm very thankful from the bottom of my heart."

Hassan and his family will spend three days in Shanghai and return to Singapore on Tuesday.

The Singaporean goalkeeper recently went viral following his multiple saves in Singapore's World Cup qualifier match against Thailand on June 11, which allowed China to advance to the next stage.

Chinese fans in Singapore subsequently flocked to Dapur Hassan, and also sent him money through the stall's QR code to show their appreciation.

In an Instagram post on June 13, Hassan thanked Chinese fans for their support but urged them to stop sending money.

Speaking to media after a training session at Jurong East Stadium that day, he said he will be donating the money received.

"When you receive money that does not belong to you, you have to donate it."

ALSO READ: Lions goalie Hassan Sunny asks Chinese fans to stop sending him money, dispels rumours he received $5.8 million

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