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Israel to host Messi and PSG for French soccer league curtain-raiser

Legends Neymar and Sergio Ramos to join game after being excluded from 2021 competition; match against Nantes will be second Super Cup hosted by Jewish state

Paris Saint-Germain soccer club's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi plays at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on December 7, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)
Paris Saint-Germain soccer club's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi plays at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on December 7, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi is set to arrive in Israel with French team Paris Saint-Germain for a match against Nantes at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv at the end of the month.

Messi last visited Israel in 2019 with Argentina’s national team for an exhibition match against Uruguay.

This is Israel’s second year hosting the Trophée des Champions, or the French Super Cup, after the season opener was brought to the Jewish state last year by billionaire Sylvan Adams.

In the lead-up to its trip to Israel, the PSG squad landed in Japan on Sunday for its summer tour.

Brazilian player Neymar and Spanish defender Sergio Ramos will join the Super Cup in Israel, after being left out of last year’s game. Kylian Mbappe, who also did not play in the 2021 match, will be unable to play again due to a suspension.

Midfielders Georginio Wijnaldum and Julian Draxler will also not be attending the competition, as they may be departing from the club for the upcoming season.

In a surprise victory, Lille beat PSG in last year’s game 1-0. Some 27,500 fans were on hand to see the match at Bloomfield Stadium, home of Hapoel and Maccabi Tel Aviv, on a baking evening with regular water breaks for players with the temperature at 29C° (84F°).

The PSG vs. Nantes game is scheduled for July 31.

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