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Argentina and Brazil to meet in MCG blockbuster

Fri, Feb 10, 11:25am by Head Editor

Walking through the Museum of the Melbourne Cricket Club is something that everyone should experience in their lifetime, whether you love sport or not. From the Olympics in 1956 to a religious service by Billy Graham in 1959 that attracted a record attendance of over 130,000, the MCG has held many great events.

On the music front, the Rolling Stones played at the famous arena, as did Michael Jackson, the Three Tenors and Elton John. Billy Joel, Madonna, U2 and David Bowie are also on the star-studded list of entertainers to grace the MCG turf.

The record attendance for a sporting event is set at 121,696 when Collingwood and Carlton played the 1970 VFL Grand Final. During World War Two, the MCG was also home to thousands of Australian and American armed forces.

On Friday morning, the minister of tourism and major events for Victoria announced the next blockbuster that will enter the history books of the MCG.

In a match that has taken a year to organise, Brazil are set to meet their arch-rivals Argentina on Friday June 9, with the Friday night blockbuster set to draw 100,000 fans.

Both nations set to bring their full-strength squads to Melbourne with world football megastars Lionel Messi and Neymar look set to go head to head.

The pair are Barcelona teammates but all that will be forgotten when the fierce international rivals, who’ve won seven FIFA World Cups between them in football-mad South America meet.

Recently, it has been Brazil who’ve had the better time of the two football powerhouses, with Neymar leading his nation to the gold medal at last year’s home Olympics.

Argentina may be ranked No.1 in the world but are struggling, languishing fifth in the South American qualifiers, which would lead them needing to qualify via the playoffs. Brazil top the group.

Messi came out of a short-lived retirement that he announced after missing a spot kick in his nation’s Copa America Final loss to Chile in June.

Edgardo Buaza, coach of Argentina, is desperate to bring Messi and company to Australia to avoid domestic hype ahead of their decisive final four qualifiers, starting with a tough away duel with Luis Suarez’s Uruguay on August 31.

There are no markets for the match as yet, but in terms of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Brazil are $8 second favourites with Argentina at $9 with William Hill.

Tickets are set to sell fast with Juventus star Gonzalo Higuain, Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano, Chelsea’s David Luiz and Liverpool pair Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firminho all set to run out onto the hallowed turf.

Furtehr matches featuring Australia playing either one or both of the South American giants are expected to be announced in coming days.

Australia’s 2017 focus is the Confederations Cup, a tournament which won’t feature either Brazil or Argentina.

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