Socceroos could face Argentina in Beijing friendly

·2-min read

Commercial and diplomatic interests have opened the door for the Socceroos to have a reunion with Argentina in China just over six months after their World Cup clash.

Lionel Messi's Argentina ended Australia's golden run in Qatar with a 2-1 victory in the round of 16 last year, on their way to claiming the title.

The two national teams could meet again in an international friendly, with Football Australia in negotiations for a potential clash at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing next month.

The incentive for Argentina, now close to the most sought-after team in the world, is financial, while Australia's proximity to Asia and ongoing business and diplomatic interests with China have highlighted the Socceroos as an ideal opponent.

"Football Australia is actively investigating potential match opportunities for the Socceroos within the men's FIFA international window from 12 June to 20 June, 2023," an FA spokesperson said.

"Among the various options under consideration is the prospect of facing a high-profile opponent overseas, such as in Beijing, China."

The New York Times reported Argentina would likely play the Socceroos in Beijing before a second friendly against another opponent in Indonesia.

Facing the world champions would give Arnold's charges, who are at the start of their new World Cup qualification cycle, a top-quality opponent as they prepare for next January's Asian Cup in Qatar.

The Socceroos, who were last in action with two matches against Ecuador in March, can play up to two friendlies in the June window but currently are looking at just one.

Hosting Uruguay in Australia had been another option floated.

It is unclear how experienced a squad Arnold would use for the June window, as many players will be coming off long club seasons that also included the heavy commitments of last year's World Cup.

Australia will learn their group-stage opponents for the Asian Cup at Thursday night's draw in Qatar.