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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sports

S'pore to take on full-strength Juve

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The newly laid turf at the National Stadium will welcome some lofty guests when Juventus visit in August.

The Italian champions will play against a Singapore Selection comprising the Lions and foreign stars from the S-League on Aug 16.

Fans will be in for a treat as Juventus will bring a full-strength squad, including Argentinian star Carlos Tevez and Italians Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon.

Chiellini, the indomitable centre-back; Pirlo, the midfield genius; and Buffon, their inspirational captain and legendary goalkeeper, will make the trip to the Lion City after representing Italy at the World Cup.

Juve have been in imperious form this season, wrapping up the Serie A title on Sunday and setting a new record with a 102-point tally. The previous record of 97 was set by Inter Milan in 2007.

Sunday's victory over Cagliari was their 33rd of the season and they had a perfect record at home to boot, winning all 19 matches at the Juventus Stadium.

They also finished a whopping 17 points ahead of second-placed Roma.

"Juventus are thrilled to be heading to Singapore, a place we have heard many great things about!" said Francesco Calvo, the club's commercial director.

"What a wonderful occasion it will be for us to compete at such a new venue and against what we expect will be a young and exciting Singapore team."

Juventus have been crowned winners of the Italian league, also known as the Scudetto, a total of 32 times and triumphed in the Uefa Champions League in 1985 and 1996.

They will take on the Singapore Selection about a week after the hosts play old rivals Malaysia on Aug 8.

"We always relish the challenge of playing against some of the best players in the world, and our team will be training hard to put in a good display in front of an anticipated huge crowd," said a Football Association of Singapore spokesman.

Said Malcolm Thorpe, vice-president of sports development and events at World Sport Group, the event's promoter: "We are delighted that Juventus have confirmed they will be able to play in Singapore. They are one of the greatest football teams in the game and so it is a privilege that they have chosen to play in Singapore."

The new National Stadium is part of the $1.3 billion Singapore Sports Hub project.


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