Freed miners in Chile receive offers and free gifts

Invitations from football clubs Real Madrid and Manchester United to watch matches at the stadiums and from a mining company to holiday in Greece are among the letters pouring in as the men rest and enjoy time with their families.


A week of relaxation in Greece, enjoying football matches at Old Trafford and the Santiago Bernabeu stadiums are being offered the 33 miners who spent more than two months trapped underground in the Atacama desert.

The story of the men, who were successfully rescued Oct. 13 from the San Jose mine near Copiapó and greeted with hugs from Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera, is known around the world and many organizations are eager to recognize the miners’ strength of spirit with presents.

Elmin, a Greek mining company, has invited each of the miners and one member of their family to enjoy a week relaxing in the sun.

Real Madrid in Spain, the club which boasts some of the world’s most recognized footballers such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Özil, wants to welcome the men to watch a match in Madrid.

“Real Madrid doesn’t just wish to invite them to a game of their choice at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, but also pay tribute to them with the affection and acknowledgement of all our fans,” said Florentino Perez, President of the club, in an interview posted to the team’s website. “It would be an honour for us to be able to receive them and celebrate their triumph in life. Real Madrid will regard their triumph as a victory.”

Manchester United, one of England’s biggest clubs, has also invited the men to a game.

Meanwhile, Edison Peña, 34, a huge Elvis Presley fan, has been invited by Elvis Presley Enterprises to come to Graceland, the site of Elvis’ former estate in Memphis.

The men also received football shirts from Real Madrid and two signed shirts from David Villa, the Spanish striker and leading scorer for his country during the World Cup, as well as free iPods.

Book and movie deals are also said to be in the offering, though none have been confirmed as the miners relax in hospital with their families. The miners’ families have also had numerous offers to endorse products.