THE Socceroos will host a double header against Greece, with a match in Sydney confirmed for 4 June, with the other venue to be announced shortly.
It will be the first time in 10 years Greece has visited its huge fan base in Australia, and they are the first European outfit to travel to our shores in five years.
A Josip Skoko goal was the winner the last time the two teams clashed, in front of 95,000 fans at the MCG before the team left for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
It will be the first time the Socceroos return to ANZ Stadium since hoisting the Asian Cup last year, with Melbourne believed to be the likely venue for the second game in the double header on 7 June. The matches will come off the back of the glamour clash with England in the north of England.
The 2004 European champions, ranked 39th in the world, missed out on Euro 2016 but still boast a line-up with formidable quality, including the likes of defensive rocks from Roma, Kostas Manolas and Vasilis Torosidis, plus Benfica striker Konstantinos Mitroglou and Fiorentina winger Panagiotis Kone.
Should Ange Postecoglou’s side negotiate the final two first round World Cup qualifiers in March, these friendlies, against the country of Postecoglou’s birth, will serve as vital preparation before the second group phase begins.
“We’re excited to lock in the match against Greece on home soil,” said Postecoglou.
“There’s no doubt the Greek match will be a hit with the Socceroos and Greek fans and we can look forward to a special atmosphere at ANZ Stadium.
“Playing Greece will be a good match up for us as we look to play as many teams as possible from outside our region when we have breaks from our World Cup Qualifiers against Asian opposition.
“We have two very important World Cup Qualifiers coming up in Adelaide and Sydney in March, which are our first focus but it is good to have this match locked in as we continue to build throughout the current World Cup cycle.”
FFA chief executive David Gallop added: “This is a premium event that will excite Socceroos fans.
“Greece has a proud football history and with so many Australians having a Greek heritage this is going to be a special match. We look forward to seeing a sea of green and gold Socceroos supporters and the passionate Greek football fans create a tremendous atmosphere as we return to ANZ Stadium.”
Socceroos v Greece, ANZ Stadium, Saturday 4 June, 8pm EDT kick-off.