Lionel Messi, Other Top Soccer Stars Could Play at Soldier Field in July

By Emily Morris on February 21, 2013 6:10pm 

 Lionel Messi (right) with Juan Ramon Cabrero of Numancia during a match between Numancia and Barcelona in 2008 in Spain
Lionel Messi (right) with Juan Ramon Cabrero of Numancia during a match between Numancia and Barcelona in 2008 in Spain
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Getty Images/Jasper Juinen

CHICAGO — Argentinian soccer superstar Lionel Messi could play in a charity tournment featuring other celebrity players at Soldier Field in July.

Messi is in talks to join 35 athletes in a "Messi & Friends" tournament on July 6, according to Miami-based marketing company Numero 5 Producciones.

Those planning to watch the anticipated tournament should be prepared to pay big. A limited number of VIP tickets to see the soccer star are already selling for $2,500. General admission tickets are not yet available.

Though details haven't been finalized, and the event isn't yet listed on Soldier Field's schedule, a spokesman for Soldier Field's management company told Crain's Chicago Business that Numero 5 has a "verbal agreement" with the stadium.

The match would benefit Messi's children's charity, the Leo Messi Foundation, said Numero 5 spokeswoman Maria Elena Guerreiro.

Messi, who plays professionally for FC Barcelona, is one of the top players in the world, and earned $39 million in 2012. That landed him the 11th spot on Forbes' list of the world's highest paid athletes.

“I’m excited about playing in Chicago and showcasing many of the greatest stars of our sport. ... It’s also important for me to connect with soccer fans in the USA and to promote the work of my foundation, and for that I am very thankful for this opportunity,” Messi said in a statement.

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