Chilean Miners to Be VIP Guests at Manchester United vs. Arsenal

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Jon Super/AP

Chilean Miners before the Manchester United vs. Arsenal soccer match

The lengths some people will go to in order to watch a soccer match for free.

Manchester United director (and former soccer legend in his own right) Sir Bobby Charlton extended VIP invites to the Chilean miners to attend Monday night’s top of the table clash with English Premier League rivals Arsenal. Charlton’s father was a miner so he had been following “Los 33″‘s extraordinary exploits with particular interest earlier this year. “You took it in your stride and the whole world was very proud of you,” said Sir Bobby.

(See pictures of former Manchester United star, David Beckham.)

26 of the 33 miners have made the trip and will be given a tour of the ground and meet the players, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson, before the match. Miner Omar Reygadas even managed to issue a challenge by joking (we think) that, “We have got enough footballers to make a team and maybe play Manchester United.”

(See pictures of the Chilean miners being rescued.)

Charlton remarked that his love for Chile was also a reason for the kind offer: “In 1962 I played in the World Cup in Chile and we enjoyed it and I said that if any of them wanted to come back to Manchester they’d be welcome. I had heard some of them were United fans.” Chilean wine producer, Vina Concha y Toro, who are one of United’s sponsors, is footing the bill and almost certainly receiving some welcome publicity to boot. (via BBC)