Brisbane Roar today kicked off a huge week for the club with a surprise visit at training by Bollywood star and keen football fan Abhishek Bachchan.
Bachchan, in Brisbane as a guest judge at the Indian International Film Festival of Queensland, is the co-owner of Indian Super League club Chennaiyin FC. His fellow owners include famed Indian cricketer MS Dhoni.
Bachchan, and his sizeable entourage, watched the Roar train then posed for photos with the players.
He was presented with one of Thomas Broich’s jerseys from last season’s AFC Champions League campaign. Broich autographed the jersey number for the actor, who admitted he was a big Chelsea fan.
“The Roar are one of Australia’s most successful clubs and I feel very privileged to have been able to visit them,” he said.
“We are only just beginning in the Indian Super League, our second season starts soon, and I am sure there are a lot of things we can learn from a club as successful as Brisbane Roar.”
Bachchan’s visit to the Sunday morning training session at Griffith University came just hours after Liverpool FC announced a 30-man squad for its pre-season tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia.
The Reds take on the Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday (6.45pm kick off).
The Liverpool FC touring squad is: Simon Mignolet, Adam Bogdan, Ryan Fulton, Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Kolo Toure, Andre Wisdom, Daniel Cleary, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Joe Maguire, Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, James Milner, Pedro Chirivella, Jordan Rossiter, Joao Carlos Teixeira, Jordan Ibe, Ryan Kent, Sheyi Ojo, Harry Wilson, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Danny Ings, Rickie Lambert, Divock Origi.
Reds fans will be delighted by the inclusion of striker Raheem Sterling, who has been rumoured to be in doubt for the tour amid speculation of a move away from Anfield.
New signings Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, James Milner, Adam Bogdan and Nathaniel Clyne were also included as were six players from the Liverpool Academy squad (Daniel Cleary, Ryan Fulton, Joe Maguire, Ryan Kent, Pedro Chirivella and Harry Wilson.
Big money signing Roberto Firmino and his Brazil team mates Philippe Coutinho were always expected to miss the Australian leg of the tour as they rest after playing in the Copa America.
Daniel Sturridge is still battling a hip injury while Mario Balotelli was also omitted.
Midfielder Adam Lallana said it would be his first visit to Brisbane and he was looking forward to meeting LFC fans and seeing how passionately they support the club.
“(Other players) tell you about it but you have to be there to take in the atmosphere,’’ Lallana said.
Brisbane Roar Head Coach John Aloisi said the Liverpool FC squad was pretty close to what he expected and will ensure a terrific game against the Roar on Friday.
“Liverpool have got a lot of new players as well and they will be doing a lot of work in pre-season to get them to gel and I am sure (manager) Brendan Rodgers will be looking at that,” Aloisi said.
“We can only focus on our job, and for us as well, pre-season is good to prepare for the upcoming A-League season.
“It going to be an enjoyable night to play against such a high-quality team.”
The Liverpool squad leaves England tonight and plays its first tour match in Thailand onTuesday evening.
They touch down in Brisbane late on Wednesday. They will unveil a new away kit in King George Square from 5pm on Thursday then head to an open training session at Suncorp Stadium from 7.30pm.
Tickets to the training session are $20/$10 with proceeds to go to local charities and the Liverpool FC Foundation. To book tickets, click here