Your guide to Socceroos v Argentina: Everything you need to know for rematch with world champs

The Socceroos will do battle with Lionel Messi’s Argentina in China on Thursday – this is everything you need to know.

Six months after their FIFA Men’s World Cup showdown in Qatar, the Socceroos and Argentina will reunite in China.

Australia are in Beijing ahead of Thursday’s international friendly against the world champions, who edged the Socceroos 2-1 in the round of 16 at Qatar 2022, and Graham Arnold’s side are coming off a win and a loss to Ecuador during March’s two-game series.

This is everything you need to know.

When is the game?

Australia meet Argentina at The Workers’ Stadium in Beijing, China on Thursday June 15, with kick-off scheduled for 8.00pm local / 10.00pm AEST.

How can I watch?

The match will be live and free to watch via Network 10, as well as streaming service Paramount+.

Team news


World Ranking: 29

Graham Arnold’s 23-player squad offers a taste of the future against Lionel Messi and the world champions, with Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover and former Perth Glory youngster Alessandro Circati called up for the first time.

Glover has been rewarded for his fine form with City, having helped the club to a third straight Isuzu UTE A-League Premiership and a fourth consecutive Grand Final appearance this season – before announcing his departure this week.

After Alexander Robertson pledged his allegiance to the Socceroos, Parma’s Circati – who has been capped by Italy at youth level – has followed suit as Arnold looks ahead to January’s AFC Asian Cup and the 2026 World Cup.

Denis Genreau (Toulouse) and Gianni Stensness (Viking FK) have been recalled to the international fold after both missed out on last year’s World Cup in Qatar. Aziz Behich, Jason Cummings, Milos Degenek, Craig Goodwin, Jackson Irvine, Aaron Mooy, and Bailey Wright are not involved due to injury.

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Aiden O’Neill (Standard Liege), Jordy Bos (Westerlo) and Glover, who played for City last season, are on the move to Europe, while Isuzu UTE A-League Golden Boot winner Jamie Maclaren (City), Mathew Leckie (City), Joe Gauci (Adelaide United), and Brandon Borrello (Western Sydney Wanderers) represent the A-Leagues.

Of the 23 players in the squad, 16 have 10 international caps or fewer.

This will be the first time Australia has played an international away from home since that 2-1 defeat to Argentina in December – the Socceroos will be looking to avoid back-to-back losses in such fixtures for the first time since June 2019.

Socceroos squad
NameCurrent Club, Country‘A’ Caps (Goals)Junior Club (Member Federation/Country)
Nathaniel ATKINSONHeart of Midlothian, Scotland6 (0)Riverside Olympic / Football Tasmania
Keanu BACCUSSt Mirren, Scotland5 (0)Parklea FC / Football New South Wales
Brandon BORRELLOWestern Sydney Wanderers, Australia6 (1)Modbury Jets / Football South Australia
Jordan BOSMelbourne City, Australia1 (0)Hoppers Crossing / Football Victoria
Alessandro CIRCATIParma Calcio 1913, Italy(0)Perth Soccer Club / Football West
Cameron DEVLINHeart of Midlothian, Scotland2 (0)Sutherland Sharks / Football New South Wales
Mitchell DUKEFagiano Okayama, Japan26 (9)Liverpool Rangers / Football New South Wales
Joe GAUCI (Gk)Adelaide United, Australia1 (0)Cumberland United / Football South Australia
Denis GENREAUToulouse, France2 (0)Brighton SC / Football Victoria
Thomas GLOVER (Gk)Melbourne City, Australia(0)Menai Hawks / Football New South Wales
Ajdin HRUSTICHellas Verona, Italy23 (3)Heatherton United / Football Victoria
Joel KINGOdense Boldklub, Denmark on loan to Sydney FC, Australia4 (0)Shellharbour Junior / Football New South Wales
Mathew LECKIEMelbourne City, Australia77 (14)Brimbank Stallions / Football Victoria
Jamie MACLARENMelbourne City, Australia29 (8)Green Gully SC / Football Victoria
Riley MCGREEMiddlesbrough, England16 (1)Gawler Eagles FC / Football South Australia
Connor METCALFESt Pauli, Germany7 (0)South Cardiff FC / Northern NSW Football
Aiden O’NEILLMelbourne City, Australia2 (0)University of Queensland Football Club(Formerly Kenmore FC) / Football Queensland 
Alexander ROBERTSONManchester City, England1 (0)Pagewood Botany / Football New South Wales
Kye ROWLESHeart of Midlothian, Scotland9 (0)Palm Beach / Football Queensland
Mathew RYAN (Gk) (Cpt)AZ Alkmaar, Netherland80 (0)Blacktown City / Football New South Wales
Gianni STENSNESSViking FK, Norway2 (0)Pittwater RSL / Collaroy Cromer SC / Football New South Wales
Harry SOUTTARLeicester City, England15 (6)Brechin City Boys Club (Scotland)
Ryan STRAINSt Mirren, Scotland1 (0)Aston Villa (UK)


World Ranking: 1

All eyes will be on Lionel Messi and the world champions as they host Australia in front of a sell-out crowd in China.

Argentina are undefeated in their last seven men’s ‘A’ internationals against Australia (W6, D1); they have conceded only a single goal across the first halves in that span.

Lionel Scaloni’s side have lost only one of their last 45 internationals (W34, D10, including penalty shoot-outs) – a 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia at the World Cup.

Since ending their 36-year wait for World Cup glory, the South American powerhouse have played two friendlies. La Albiceleste beat Panama 2-0 and Curacao 7-0 in March, with Messi scoring a hat-trick and four goals across both matches.

Scaloni’s squad to take on the Socceroos is headlined by Messi, who is set to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami in MLS. It also includes a trio of debutants – Manchester United sensation Alejandro Garnacho, Brighton and Hove Albion’s Facundo Buonanotte and PSV goalkeeper Walter Benitez.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Geronimo Rulli (Ajax), Walter Benitez (PSV)

Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Leonardo Balerdi (Marseille), Facundo Medina (Lens)

Midfielders: Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Giovani Lo Celso (Villarreal), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea), Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla), Thiago Almada (Atlanta United)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Giovanni Simeone (Napoli), Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United)