GET ready Parramatta! Socceroos legend Brett Emerton says La Liga super-club FC Barcelona will unleash “future football superstars” when they take on the A-Leagues All Stars at Accor Stadium, for one night only, Wednesday May 25.
Emerton said that not only is Barcelona’s first time visit historic it’s also a “fantastic opportunity” for the football community in Sydney and the whole of Australia to witness one of the world’s best teams live in action.
Emerton, a former Marconi Stallion who captained Sydney FC in the inaugural Sydney derby with Western Sydney Wanderers in 2012 at Parramatta Stadium, said FC Barcelona’s next generation of players – including emerging stars Pedri, Puig, Fati and Nico Gonzalez – are “some of the most exciting young footballers in the world”.
“I’m really excited to see Barcelona come here. Their achievements are outstanding and they’ve produced some of the best players in the world. So not only will we see Barca’s established stars, we’re going to see players who will be watched for many years to come,” Emerton said.
Barcelona will be heading Down Under after a hard-fought season in Spain, but Emerton believes the All Stars will have their work cut out to contain the Spanish giants.
“I think Barcelona will have too much quality. I know they’re at the end of their season, but as professional footballers you always want to win so they will come here to play, and play well, and get the result,” Emerton said.
In a coup for the home side, however, Emerton’s former team-mate at Blackburn Rovers, Dwight Yorke, has been named Head Coach of the A-Leagues All Stars.
Yorke was the A-League’s original superstar, playing a key role in the competition’s launch in 2005 when he signed for glamour club Sydney FC. Fifteen years after his final A-League appearance – when he won the Joe Marston Medal for player of the match in the 2006 grand final – Yorke is excited to again be involved in football Down Under.
“I loved playing in the A-League at its inception and cannot wait to be back in front of the fans in Sydney,” Yorke said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the A-League’s best men’s talent against one of the world’s biggest clubs and it is an honour to be welcomed back to Australia for this role.”
Emerton said that having played in Australia himself, Yorke understands Australian football’s elite players.
“I couldn’t think of anyone better suited to manage the team. He brings a wealth of experience; the players can learn a lot from him. As a footballer he was very intelligent and I know that as a team-mate I learned a lot from him,” Emerton said.
Football fans heading to the Barca blockbuster have kicked an early goal with Transport for NSW confirming that all match tickets will include travel on public transport to and from Accor Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park.
Jordan Kerry, Business Development Manager for VenuesLive, advised that tickets are selling fast.
”There’s been an overwhelmingly positive response to the Barca in Sydney game and a big crowd is guaranteed on May 25.
“The majority of remaining tickets are priced to attract families and keen followers of the game. It was our intention to keep this game as affordable as possible and over 60 per cent of all remaining tickets are priced under $79 with tickets starting from just $29,” Kerry said.
Kick-off is scheduled for 8pm. Pre-match entertainment begins at 7:15pm. For a premium game-day experience fans should plan their trip, get moving early and leave plenty of time for getting into Accor Stadium. Fans can plan their trip using the Transport for NSW Trip Planner.
Tickets and event information at www.barcainsydney.com.au