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Former soccer stars from Barcelona, Real Madrid to play in Israel next month

‘Peace Clásico’ to be held at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium on July 20; Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo among retired legends set to take part in exhibition game

Former FC Barcelona player Ronaldinho, right, gestures to his teammate Rivaldo during a friendly soccer match between FC Barcelona legends and Manchester United legends at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, June, 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Former FC Barcelona player Ronaldinho, right, gestures to his teammate Rivaldo during a friendly soccer match between FC Barcelona legends and Manchester United legends at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, June, 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Retired soccer superstars who played for Spanish soccer league rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will square off in Israel on July 20 for an exhibition match of veterans from the two powerhouse clubs.

Games between the opposing clubs are referred to as “El Clásico” and the match at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium will be called “El Clásico of Peace,” Israel’s Sport 5 television network said Tuesday.

The teams’ final lineups have not been finalized, but among the former stars set to play in the match are Brazilians Ronaldinho and Rivaldo for FC Barcelona, while fellow Brazilian Roberto Carlos and Italian Luis Figo will suit up for Real Madrid.

The Barcelona squad will arrive on July 18 and Real Madrid’s team a day later, with both holding practice sessions ahead of the match, according to Kan news.

Tickets are currently on sale beginning at NIS 199 ($61).

Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos were among a group of retired Brazilian soccer legends who played against former Israeli players in Haifa in 2019. Ronaldinho, viewed by many as one of the greatest players of all time, also visited Israel in 2018 to open a soccer academy in the country.

The match next month will come several weeks before Barcelona’s current squad — which features Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi — is scheduled to arrive in Israel for a preseason game against Beitar Jerusalem, one of the top Israeli soccer clubs. The match is set to take place in Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium on August 4.

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