Top International Soccer Stars Arrived in Tel Aviv for Matches
Israeli soccer fans had a very rare opportunity this weekend. They were able to catch a glimpse of a horde of their favorite stars, as two high-profile games were being held in the Jewish state.
The Jewish connection
Tottenham Hotspurs, the English Premier League team, was scheduled to take on the Italian AS Roma on Saturday in Haifa at the Sammy Offer Stadium for a pre-season friendly match.
The game was scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. and since both of the teams were associated traditionally with their Jewish fans, the tickets were expected to be sold out.
Apart from the Jewish connection, there was also a lot of anticipation surrounding the match because it marked the first meeting of Jose Mourinho, the coach for AS Roma, with Tottenham, his former club that had fired him more than a year ago.
Mourinho has also had a number of run-ins with the current manager of Tottenham, Antonio Conte. But, the latter reiterated that they had put the animosity behind them.
Ahead of the game, Conte had appeared in a press conference in Tel Aviv where he said that they had developed a mutual respect. He also added that their history in football was enough to speak about their work.
Conte also said that things were good and there was likely going to be a hug between the two managers.
Conte also appreciated the warm welcome that they had received from fans in Israel. He stated that it had been great to be so warmly welcomed.
The Tottenham Manager also said that the fans had sung happy birthday to one of their players, Harry Kane, since it was his birthday.
The Italian said that they were happy because of the enthusiasm and were looking forward to playing their game on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Roma had taken out time from their training and went to Jerusalem to visit the Western Wall. A number of stars prayed at the holy site and placed a note.
As far as Sunday’s match is concerned, it provided Israelis the opportunity to see global soccer superstars in action, namely Neymar and Lionel Messi.
This was because of the match scheduled in Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium between Nantes and French Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
This is the second year that Israel is hosting the French Super Cup after billionaire Sylvan Adams brought the season opener to the Jewish state in the previous year.
The Argentinian national team had come to Israel back in 2019 and Messi had played in the exhibition match against Uruguay.
However, he had played in the game in the previous year, as did Neymar. While Israeli fans were able to see Neymar and Messi in action, they missed out on Kylian Mbappe.
The most expensive player in the world had been suspended for an excessive number of yellow cards at the end of the previous season. PSG said before the game that they had lost the previous year, so they intended to take this one seriously.