- FC Barcelona will arrive in Sydney early Tuesday ahead of historic first game in Australia;
- Barca have named a near full-strength squad for game against A-Leagues All Stars on Wednesday night;
- All Stars Head Coach Dwight Yorke says Barcelona is “a phenomenal team” that All Stars are “chomping at the bit” to test themselves against;
- Tickets still available in most categories for the match, which is heading towards a full house.
Tickets and information at www.barcainsydney.com.au
Xavi Hernandez, manager of La Liga giants FC Barcelona, has named a 20-man squad equal parts youth, experience and superstar quality for the historic, one-off friendly against the A-Leagues All Stars on Wednesday 25 May.
For All Stars Head Coach Dwight Yorke the match represents an opportunity for his team to match themselves against the world’s best.
“It goes without saying [Barcelona] are a phenomenal team in terms of what they bring to the table. And that’s why you expect a big crowd; they’re world class players with a world class manager.
“We expect them to be highly entertaining and very hard to beat.
“A lot of people don’t expect us to overturn Barcelona. So we get a free shot at them in many respects.
“Hopefully can throw some attacking football towards them,” Yorke said.
Given how attacking and entertaining a player Yorke was, that appears a certainty.
The former Manchester United and A-Leagues legend added that his players are “chomping at the bit” to test themselves against the best players in world football.
“It’s a good opportunity to match themselves against the world’s best and to see where they are.
“I’m sure one or two of them have the aspiration to play abroad, to play at these big clubs,” Yorke said.
One player in that category is 17-year-old Garang Kuol (below) who looms as a ‘super sub’ for coach Yorke.
Originally from Victoria’s Goulburn Valley Suns, Kuol has been drafted into the All Stars following promising performances for Central Coast Mariners including a goal on debut and three goals on the trot in just nine appearances, all off the bench.
“Everyone knows Barcelona, they’re a world class team full of top players. They’re big name players who’ve won trophies all around the world,” Kuol said.
One of those is Brazilian international Dani Alves, 39, the right back whom Kuol describes as “a monster”.
“I’ll be staying away from him! But yeah, we’ll see what happens with the team. We’ll see who the gaffer puts out and we’ll go from there,” Kuol said.
As an appetiser ahead of the big match, fans have the chance to see the superstars up close at the Official Barca Fan Party and Open Training Session on Tuesday 24 May. Entry is free though fans will need to register via the Barca In Sydney website.
Tickets in most categories are still available for the match, which is on track for a full house at Accor Stadium. Tickets from $29 (kids), $49 (adults) and $127 (family of 4) are available from Ticketek.