Football: Juventus will take on S'pore selection in August

SINGAPORE - Gianluigi Buffon, Fernando Llorente, Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo.

They are just four of a host of international football stars, with a boatload of caps between them, who will hope to shine at the upcoming World Cup.

They all play for Juventus, the newly-crowned Serie A champions, and The New Paper understands they will take on a Singapore Selection at the new National Stadium at the Sports Hub on Aug 16.

With a record 30 top-flight titles, the Bianconeri are the most successful club in Italian football and national football captain Shahril Ishak believes it will be a good experience for all who are involved.

"It is not every day we get to watch or play against a top European side, or Serie A champions like Juventus," the 30-year-old Johor Darul Ta'zim II skipper told TNP yesterday.

"Such big games may be a one-off, but it's always good to pit ourselves against the best in the business and see where we are."

"It can be good for the local footballers or even aspiring youngsters watching from the stands, if it inspires them to go all out to pursue their football dream, work hard and improve."

Led by former Italy international Antonio Conte, Juventus secured the 2013-14 Serie A title with three games to spare on Sunday, after closest challengers AS Roma were stunned 4-1 away by relegation-haunted Catania.


They then celebrated their third successive title under Conte when they beat Atalanta 1-0 yesterday morning (Singapore time) and, with two games left, they are four points away from becoming the first team to finish with at least 100 points in the Serie A.

The Republic last hosted a top European side when Champions League finalists and La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid beat a Singapore Selection 2-0 last May.

The Juventus friendly will be held a week after Singapore take on Causeway rivals Malaysia on Aug 8 in the first football match to be held at the $1.33 billion Sports Hub.

An international friendly against Japan is also on the cards in October.

This article was published on May 7 in The New Paper.

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