Duric raring to go in Battle of Masters
Former Lion can't wait to do battle against players of his favourite club Arsenal in Battle of Masters
Former Singapore international Aleksandar Duric will be ticking two items off his bucket list when the Singapore Masters play against the Arsenal and Liverpool Masters on Saturday.
The 47-year-old told The New Paper that it will be the first time he will be playing at the National Stadium and it doesn't get better than sharing the same pitch with some of the former EPL stars he grew up admiring and watching.
Duric retired from the national team in December 2012, one-and-a-half years before the National Stadium opened its doors.
At the official press conference for the Battle of the Masters presented by American Express CapitaCard at Marriot Tang Plaza Hotel yesterday, self-confessed Arsenal fan Duric realised one other wish - taking a photo with former Arsenal forward Nwankwo Kanu.
He said: "These former stars played for two of the biggest clubs (Arsenal and Liverpool) in the world. I don't have the opportunity to travel and watch EPL live, so being able to play against them feels amazing.
"I've watched these guys play many years ago and I'm excited to meet them on the field."
The three teams will play each other in three 40-minute round-robin games, all in one day.
While age may not be on the side of the players, Duric has promised that he and his teammates such as Fandi Ahmad, Rafi Ali and Noh Alam Shah will not be awestruck in the presence of their idols and will give them a run for their money.
"Once the game starts, it won't be too friendly. We all want to win and like how we played football professionally, it's still in our blood to fight and win," said Duric.
"The fans can definitely expect good football and from my experience against Liverpool (at Jalan Besar Stadium) three years ago, I can tell you that those guys still have it."
This is Liverpool Masters' third trip here in four years, having beaten the Singapore and Manchester United Masters 3-1 and 2-0 in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman said: "It's important that we score goals and the crowd enjoy themselves.
"The Liverpool players are looking fit and they played well the other day so, hopefully, it's the same for Saturday."
REVENGE ON HIS MIND
The 45-year-old was referring to the Balikpapan Masters Cup in Indonesia last Sunday when Liverpool beat their Arsenal counterparts 3-1. For former Arsenal and England fullback Nigel Winterburn, revenge is on his mind.
"I certainly hope that we can get revenge over Liverpool for the last game because the loss showed us that Liverpool have played together lots of times," said the 53-year-old.
"But I'm sure we'll entertain the fans with a good game, score some goals and get that win."
Former Arsenal and France midfielder Robert Pires, who will be making his debut with the Arsenal Masters, added: "It's a pleasure to be here because I get to meet some old players.
"I can't wait to explore the country, meet new people, try new food and, remember boys, we have a big revenge coming on Saturday."