Two lucky Singaporeans off to Euro 2016
Ng and Koh will catch Ronaldo-Bale battle and also mix it up with legends
Desmond Ng and Ronald Koh can be forgiven for thinking they are the luckiest men on earth.
Tomorrow morning (Singapore time), they will be watching the Euro 2016 semi-final between Portugal and Wales in Lyon.
The following day, they will actually play in a friendly match with legends of the game at the Stade de Lyon - all because of Carlsberg, who organised a football contest in The New Paper in May.
Koh did not take part in it but, luckily for him, his childhood friend Ng did.
And after Carlsberg decided that Ng would get to pick a buddy to go with him on the once-in-a-lifetime trip, Koh got the nod.
Said the 27-year-old IT consultant: "I guess I'm eternally indebted to him now!
"Desmond called me on a workday afternoon to tell me he's got a good deal and asked if I would be free.
"Then he told me he had won a ticket to Euro 2016 and I get to go with him.
"I didn't believe him at first and said 'nice try'.
"Only when he sent me the confirmation e-mail did reality strike."
Said Jimmy Toh, general manager of Carlsberg Singapore: "At Carlsberg, we are committed to delivering the best to consumers, and this ultimate football superstar treatment is no exception.
"Since extraordinary moments are best shared with friends, what better way for our fans to enjoy this money-cannot-buy, once-in-a-lifetime experience than with their mate?"
In the contest, Ng picked what he thought were the best 11 from four different line-ups, and his was the correct answer. Said the 27-year-old trainee lawyer: "Of course, this is the biggest game of my life.
"I have watched many Singapore matches, but the atmosphere in France will be different.
"I am really looking forward to this. I know it's going to be exciting."
Their $22,000 prize includes a dinner with football legends, among them Euro 1992 winner Peter Schmeichel of Denmark.
Ng and Koh are also looking forward to doing what they enjoy most - play football.
Incredibly, they will get to do it at the Stade de Lyon. Koh, who captained the Temasek Junior College team, said: "Growing up as a football fan, it's a dream to play professional football. But I can't, so watching a top-level match will be the closest thing to that.
"And we get to go on the pitch to play football, so there can't be many things in life better than that."
They can expect to be blown away by the VIP treatment.
Toh said: "Desmond and Ronald will be given the exclusive opportunity to watch the semi-finals live at Stade de Lyon, and live it up as a true football superstars.
"For the first time ever, they will be given unprecedented access to the Stade de Lyon pitch, where they will have the chance to play, interact and probably score some goals with some of the biggest names in football.
"On top of that, they will receive customised fan kits, access to legendary football players, such as Peter Schmeichel, and unique VIP experiences which include an exquisite gala dinner with the legends."
No wonder the two buddies, who left for Lyon last night, can't wait for the action to start.
Said Ng: "We drink Carlsberg, so we are very thankful for this opportunity to live our dream.
"I'm looking forward to a brilliant time, and to drinking lots of Carlsberg in France!"