Liverpool to play in Australia for the first time

Reuters, Wednesday 3 Apr 2013

England side Liverpool to make first trip Down Under when they visit Melbourne Victory in a friendly

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, right, celebrates scoring a goal with Luis Suarez, top right, and Stewart Downing, left, during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Liverpool at Villa Park Stadium in Birmingham, England, Sunday, March 31, 2013. (Photo: AP)

Premier League club Liverpool will play their first match in Australia on July 24 when they meet Melbourne Victory in a pre-season friendly at the 100,000 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, the A-league team said on Wednesday.

As the club where Australian Craig Johnston made his name in the 1980s and where Socceroo Harry Kewell later won the Champions League, Liverpool have a huge following Down Under and a bumper crowd will be expected for the match.

"Liverpool is one of the most famous clubs on the planet and the fact that they've opted to play Melbourne Victory on their first ever tour to Australia is great recognition for our club and the progress we've made in our short history," said Anthony Di Pietro, chairman of the eight-year-old A-League club.

"This truly is a momentous occasion for not only football fans, but sport fans in general, and where better to host such an event than one of the world's most iconic sporting arenas - the Melbourne Cricket Ground."

Forward Kewell will not have a chance to play against his former club having quit the Victory after one season to return to Europe for family reasons in 2012.

Liverpool's great rivals Manchester United will also play in Australia in pre-season, taking on an A-League All Stars XI at Sydney's 83,500-seater Olympic Stadium on July 20.

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