Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney likely to play in Singapore this year

The International Champions Cup is being played by top football clubs across the world during the pre-season.

Lionel Messi
Will Singapore Sports Hub be able to bring big names to National Stadium? Reuters

Singapore Sports Hub is bidding to host the International Champions Cup (ICC) at the National Stadium during the pre-season in 2017, paving the way for the likes of Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney to play in the city nation.

Top football clubs from big leagues, including La Liga, Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and France Ligue 1 have been part of ICC, which kicked of in 2013. Big names including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City were part of the 2016 competition, which was played across four venues - Australia, China, United States and Europe from 22 July to 13 August.

China hosted United, City and Borussia Dortmund across three cities - Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai. The much-anticipated clash between Jose Mourinho's men and Pep Guardiola's team was cancelled due to inhospitable conditions at the Bird's Nest Stadium.

Some of these big clubs are likely to come to Singapore if Sports Hub manages to successfully bid for one leg of the ICC. However, football fans in the Republic will not be able to witness Cristiano Ronaldo in action as Real Madrid have already announced that they will be heading to Miami to play the ICC this year.

Singapore Sports Hub CEO Manu Sawhney had earlier opened up about the possibility of hosting top European clubs at the National Stadium. Notably, the stadium's suite owners were unhappy with Sports Hub as the latter was not being able to bring high-profile events to the venue but the latest development will bring relief to the bosses, according to Today.

"The Singapore Sports Hub is in constant discussions with a variety of event owners and promoters to identify, secure and present a variety of genres and types of events that add to the vibrancy of the Sports Hub, as well as Singapore's sporting landscape," Sports Hub senior director, spokesperson Chin Sau Ho said, as quoted by the news daily.