EPL champions Chelsea pulled a bigger crowd at Monday night's training session in Sydney than the NRL match on the same night across town.
The Blues trained at ANZ Stadium on Monday night with 10,629 fans turning up, over 2000 more than the attendance for the Roosters and Storm clash at Allianz Stadium.
It prompted one local newspaper to declare Sydney 'True Blue' ahead of the Chelsea clash.
And with around 84,000 fans expected tonight (Tues) for the club's final game of the year, a friendly with Hyundai A-League club Sydney FC, it's another sign of the growing popularity of football Downunder.
Chelsea star John Obi Mikel admitted the long-journey to Australia had taken its toll but vowed the Blues would look to prove why they’re the newly-crowned Premier League Champions.
“We’re here to play well, and show why we’re the champions,” he told chelseafc.com
"We’re used to big crowds and good atmospheres, so we’re looking forward to that and it was nice to see so many fans come to watch us training as well.
“So far it’s been a good trip, I’m feeling a little jet lagged since we arrived in Sydney. But it will be a great game. Sydney had a good game against Spurs and will want to do even better against us."
English rugby legend and Chelsea supporter Lawrence Dallaglio expects an electric atmosphere for the one-off clash, which could set a new attendance record for ANZ Stadium.
Dallaglio was part of England’s 2003 World Cup winning side which downed the Wallabies in the final, in front of more than 82,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium.
“They will be very welcoming, they always are, but when it comes to sport they are very serious regardless of the sport,” Dallaglio told chelseafc.com
“…This is an exciting tour for Chelsea. It’s a new territory and the chance to explore the other side of the world. It’s massively exciting for them too to have the Premier League champions in their country and they’ll pick up as much as they can.”