Argentina announced on Monday that Lionel Messi will captain his team against Australia in a friendly in Beijing before another match in Indonesia.
Argentina and Australia will square off once more on June 15 at the Workers’ Stadium in the Chinese capital. Their first encounter occurred in the World Cup of Qatar’s round of 16.
Argentina won 2-1 thanks to a goal from Messi, and they went on to win the World Cup.
Argentina’s embassy in China announced on the social media platform Weibo that Lionel Messi will captain his country’s team against Australia on June 15 in Beijing.
A second friendly matchup between the national team and Indonesia has been scheduled on June 19 in Jakarta as part of a “Asia Tour” during the summer.
Football Australia chief executive James Johnson said playing in China will further boost ties between the two countries after years of troubled relations.
“Football is truly the global game and for Australia to be invited to play this match in China, and against the world number one, we hope this will open further opportunities for our two nations to work together both on and off the football field,” Johnson said.
“It’s been 15 years since our senior men’s national team played in China and we are truly excited to be returning to face Argentina at the newly renovated Workers’ Stadium in Beijing,” he added.
International sport has only just begun to return to China after Beijing abruptly ditched strict virus curbs late last year.