Australia's Socceroos 'truly excited' to play Argentina in Beijing

(File photo: Xinhua)

CANBERRA, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Football Australia (FA) announced on Monday that the men's national team is eagerly anticipating their match against FIFA World Cup winners Argentina at the Workers' Stadium in Beijing on June 15.

It will be a rematch of the round of 16 encounter at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where Argentina claimed a 2-1 victory on the path to their third tournament win in history.

This friendly marks the Socceroos' first appearance in China since 2008, when they faced China in a World Cup qualifier in Kunming, situated in China's southwestern Yunnan Province.

James Johnson, Chief Executive of FA, deemed the match historic. "I would like to express our gratitude to the promoters, China Rainbow International Investment Co. Ltd, for their ambition in organizing this match, along with the Beijing Football Association, Chinese Football Association, and both the Chinese and Australian Governments for their respective support," he stated.

"It's been 15 years since our senior men's national team played in China, and we're truly thrilled to be returning to take on Argentina at the newly renovated Workers' Stadium in Beijing."

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold, who recently signed a four-year contract extension following the World Cup, has consistently emphasized the importance of facing top-tier opposition leading up to the AFC Asian Cup.

After over two years of renovation and reconstruction, the Beijing Workers' Stadium reignited with chants and excitement when the 2023 Chinese Super League (CSL) season kicked off at this iconic venue in April.

From the exterior, the new stadium retains its structural proportions, appearance, and elements. However, upon entering, one is greeted with a modern, professional football stadium that meets the highest FIFA standards.