Barcelona stalwart Lionel Messi, Juventus striker Paulo Dybala and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero are a few superstars among others to grace Singapore's National Stadium on 13 June as the Lions are all set to play Argentina in an international friendly, which will mark Football Association of Singapore's 125th anniversary.
Billed as the "match of the year", the second-ranked side will play with a full-strength squad that is also likely to have Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria, the Fas said in a statement. Notably, La Albiceleste will stop at Singapore after the completion of their tour to Australia, in which they will play Brazil at Melbourne in June.
National team coach V Sundramoorthy revealed that the Fas had worked hard to finalise the fixture, which, according to him, will benefit Singapore football. He also asked the fans to fill the stadium and back their team. Notably, Lions will only have a two-day break to prepare for the big clash as they are set to face Chinese Taipei at the same venue in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on 10 June.
"Argentina are one of the top international teams and have in their squad many world-class players such as Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain winger Ángel Di María and Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero. FAS has worked very hard to finalise the match, which will benefit our players and coaches in terms of invaluable exposure as well as enhance the level of sporting entertainment for fans in Singapore," Sundramoorthy said, according to the statement.
"I am 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. A packed stadium on 13 June will make a huge difference and give our players the boost they need against a team with so many talented world-class players."
Lions' skipper Shahril Ishak revealed that the team had always desired to play against the best in the business and thanked the Fas for making their dream come true. The Warriors FC midfielder expressed delight at the fact that he will be leading his team against international superstars in the opposition camp.
"I was very surprised when I learnt that we will be taking on the likes of Messi and Aguero during the next FIFA international window. While our Lions had played against top international teams at the National Stadium during the past 15 years or so, there is no doubt that Argentina will be the strongest, most star-studded opponents for us," Ishak said.
"As players, it is always our desire to play against the best opponents possible and we are very thankful to the FAS for the relentless hard work and efforts in bringing Argentina to Singapore."