20 April 17 The Business Times by LEE U-WEN
THE National Stadium in Kallang will play host to some of the world's most famous footballers when Argentina - two-time winners of the Fifa World Cup - jet into town for a friendly match against Singapore on June 13.
The likes of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero are all expected to line-up for La Albiceleste (Argentina's nickname, which means "the white and sky-blue", the same colours as their jersey).
The South American giants, currently second on Fifa's latest world rankings, are taking part in this glamorous fixture to mark the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) 125th anniversary this year.
There have been weeks of speculation that this high-profile match would be staged here, and the FAS finally confirmed it in a news release on Wednesday afternoon.
Argentina will arrive in Singapore shortly after they play their arch-rivals Brazil in the Australian city of Melbourne on June 9.
FAS said that Argentina would field a "full-strength" team against the Lions at the 55,000-seat National Stadium, which means that fans could also see the likes of strikers Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala (both from Juventus), as well as goalkeeper Sergio Romero and defender Marcos Rojo (both from Manchester United).
The Lions are ranked 159th in the world, and national coach V Sundramoorthy said the upcoming match would benefit his players and coaches in terms of the exposure, as well as enhance the level of sporting entertainment for fans here.
"I'm looking forward to leading my country out against such the two-time Fifa World Cup champions, and we hope that Singaporeans will come out in force to cheer us on," he said.
"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.
Tickets for the Singapore-Argentina friendly go on sale at Sports Hub Tix (www.sportshubtix.sg) on April 20 from 9am onwards.
They cost S$40, S$78, S$138 and S$188, while concession tickets, for those aged 16 and below and seniors aged 60 and above, cost S$25.