Lionel Messi’s Argentina will be traveling to Singapore in June to play a friendly match against the Lions to mark the 125th anniversary of the Football Association of Singapore.
Organized by FAS and international sport and entertainment promoter Unicess, the game is part of a four-nation tour that will kick off four days earlier with a match between Argentina and Brazil in Melbourne.
Due to a four-match ban for swearing at a match official, Messi’s participation was in doubt. However, as the sanction applies only for competitive internationals and not for friendlies, he will be eligible to play.
Apart from Messi, Argentina, the second-ranked team in the world, will be bringing a star-studded squad. Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero and Paris Saint-Germain winger Ángel di María are set to play at the National Stadium.
Other big names such as Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuaín, Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and Ezequiel Lavezzi are also likely to feature in the game.
Aiden Kwangik Moon, CEO of Unicess, says that the game will attract football fans from across the region.
“The game will not only appeal to fans in Singapore but will attract football fans from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other nearby countries and will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this generation of Argentinean players compete in Singapore,” he said.
A memorable event for Singaporean football
Lions coach V. Sundramoorthy declared that this will be a memorable event for Singaporean football and that he is looking forward to leading his charges against the two-time world champions.
“The match will benefit our players and coaches in terms of invaluable exposure as well as enhance the level of sporting entertainment for fans in Singapore. A packed stadium on June 13 will make a huge difference and give our players the boost they need against a team with so many talented world-class players,' he added.
The match will come three days after Singapore play a crucial 2019 AFC Asian Cup third-round qualifier game against Chinese Taipei.