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Chicago now with more Lionel Messi?

Feb 21, 2013, 3:10 PM EDT

Lionel Messi AP

The Little Engine that Could Only Score in Bunches seems prepared to bring his Lionel Messi and Friends traveling show to Solider Field on July 6.

The charity match will reportedly feature other big names including Didier Drogba, Carlos Bocanegra, Giovanni Dos Santos, Javier Mascherano, Radamel Falcao, and Dani Alves. Uh, one of these things is not like the others, although Bocanegra does have a following in Chitown after a successful stint with the Fire. Here’s a thought: Could he announce his return to MLS during the festivities for the game?

Lionel Messi and Friends will play in Los Angeles a week later and also make pit stops in Peru and Colombia at other points during the summer tour. Proceeds benefit the Lionel Messi Foundation for children with terminal illnesses.

It all sounds like a pretty good time, although not the most fun for defenders on the field. Matches last year were rather high-scoring.

Ticket prices will likely be through the roof to make up for the high costs of getting two teams worth of world-class players to the middle of the United States in the summer. VIP packages start at $2,500. But this is a pretty great event if they can pull it off. And, perhaps more importantly, it will show the increasing economic viability of soccer in American, encouraging more international stars and teams to come here and grow the game. (Then again, do we really need more friendlies in the summer months?)

  1. pensfan603 - Feb 21, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    So charitable. I know alot of sports do alot and everything, but when you look at players like messi who do huge charity tournements and Donavan who said his favor part of playing is MLS Works it just really shows how loving alot fo these soccer players are.

  2. randomhookup - Feb 21, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    It’s really a repeat of the same event they did in Miami last year:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/21/2860038/lionel-messi-leads-list-of-stars.html

    Messi & Boca were both on the menu then, too. Last year’s match ended up 7-7 in a horrible rainstorm.

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