Lionel Messi to feature in Argentina-Australia friendly in China, fans castigate organizers for $680 ticket

Seven times Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is set to feature in Argentina’s lineup against Australia in a friendly game taking place in China. Messi’s Chinese fan base is ecstatic to see him live in action. However, they are absolutely disgusted by the eye-watering price tag of the ticket.

Ticket prices attract public outrage ahead of Leo Messi visit in China

On Friday, organizers announced that tickets to see Lionel Messi lead Argentina in a friendly against Australia in Beijing would cost Chinese fans up to $680. The matchup between Argentina and Australia from the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be repeated on June 15 at the 68,000-seat Workers’ Stadium. The last time Messi was in China was in 2017.

Lionel Messi

On June 5 and 8, two batches of tickets with prices ranging from 580 yuan ($82) to 4,800 yuan will be released. However, as with the recent trend, the tickets are very susceptible to scalping.

Nonetheless, sellers on China’s Taobao marketplace started offering booking services for the tickets almost immediately, with one seller charging a whopping 18,000 yuan ($2500) for “VIP” seating.

Why Argentina vs Australia is being hosted in China

Several Chinese organizations, including the Beijing Football Association, the Beijing Yiyang Gengyun Sports Culture Co. Ltd, and the Shanxi Provincial Sports Industry Group Co. Ltd, helped make this friendly possible, and Australia’s football governing body, Football Australia, made sure to thank them all for their contributions.

CEO of Football Australia James Johnson also mentioned that the Socceroos were invited to participate, which is a big deal given the political tensions that still exist between China and Australia. 

“To secure a match against the World Champions Argentina reflects Australia’s standing within world football and the respect that the top nations have for both our senior national teams,” Johnson said in a press release.

“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.”

“I would also like to extend our gratitude to the promoters, China Rainbow International Investment Co. Ltd for their ambition in organising this match, along with Beijing Football Association and Chinese Football Association plus the Chinese and Australian Governments for their respective support.

“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.”

The match is expected to be a sell-out and is sure to be a great occasion for both sets of fans. It will be a chance for the Socceroos to test themselves against the world champions. Let us know your thoughts regarding the encounter in the comments section. 


Tanzeem Rahman

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Tanzeem Rahman is a soccer writer and an editor at SportsZion. Tanzeem's love for the sport began by watching and admiring Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days. Having graduated from Germany as an Electrical Engineer, Tanzeem has watched multiple high-profile games throughout Europe from the gallery. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as sublime english proficiency has been an asset to SportsKnot. Outside of his duty, Tanzeem is a gamer, and loves to spend time watching Anime and reading Manga.


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