Maccabi Haifa to Host PSG on September 14
On September 14th, Israeli fans will get the opportunity to see some global soccer players in action at the Sammy Ofer Stadium.
French team Paris Saint-Germain will be coming for the Champions League match against Maccabi Haifa, where players like Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi will be seen in action.
On Thursday, Haifa was drawn in Group H and other teams included in the group are Portuguese side Benfica, Italian club Juventus and PSG.
On Saturday, UEFA published the fixture list, which shows that Haifa will start its campaign on September 6th away at Benfica and will then host the French soccer powerhouse 8 days later at home.
On October 5th, the team will face Juventus in Turin and then it will host the Italian club in Haifa on October 11th.
The next match for Haifa will be on October 25th when it visits Paris, before it ends the group stage on November 2nd with a final home game against Portuguese Benfica.
The top two teams of each group will move ahead to the knockout round. It should be noted that no team from Israel has ever managed to go past the group stage.
PSG is the defending champion for France, but even though it comprises of some of the most expensive players in the world, it has never been able to win the tournament.
Its Qatari owners have invested billions of dollars to purchase some of the top players in the world. As for Benfica and Juventus, both of them have won two times.
As far as their home leagues are concerned, they have been at the top of the table perennially. On Tuesday, Maccabi had managed to clinch its place in the group stage.
The Israeli team was able to win 5-4 on aggregate after Belgrade Red Star scored an own goal at the 90th minute.
The team returned to Israel the next day and ecstatic supporters had mobbed it, as hundreds of fans were waiting at the Ben Gurion Airport to greet the players.
This is the third time that Maccabi Haifa has managed to progress to the group stage in the UEFA Champions League, which is the premier annual tournament for European soccer.
The team had last made an appearance in 2009-2010 when it played six matches and did not score a single goal.
Two of the matches were against the Italian club Juventus, which had managed to beat it both times with the scorecard standing at 1-0.
But, Haifa has also enjoyed some success in the tournament. Back in 2002, it beat Manchester United, one of the top teams of England, 3-0.
The last game that PSG had played in Israel was in the previous month at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv against Nantes.
It had defeated Nantes to win the French Super Cup, but had lost at the same venue to Lille a year ago. This season, the Champions League group stage is starting early on September 6th.
It will also end on November 2nd, five weeks sooner than usual, as the World Cup is scheduled to begin in Qatar on November 20th.