The Champions League kicks off, the most attractive club tournament in the world

With a tight schedule for the World Cup, with the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time in two decades, but with the certainty of being the most attractive club tournament in the world, the Champions League will kick off this Tuesday with eight games, including highlights the duel between Paris Saint Germain and Juventus. For Lionel Messi, one of his great goals of the season begins, beyond his obsession with the Qatar World Cup with the Argentine National Team.

With the presence of Messi, he will receive Juventus tomorrow, who will appear with Leandro Paredes but without Ángel Di María, absent due to injury, in the main match of the first date of the Champions League. The match corresponding to Group H will be played from 4:00 p.m. at the Parque de los Príncipes stadium and will be televised by ESPN and Star+.

Messi will start his 19th consecutive Champions League season and will overtake his former teammate and current Barcelona manager, Xavi Hernández, as the player with the third most appearances in history. The Argentine crack played 156 games and, with 125 goals, he is the second all-time scorer in the competition below the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, the great absentee of the 2022/23 season since his Manchester United did not qualify. The debut of the “Flea” was in December 2004 in Ukraine in the defeat of Barcelona (2-0) against Shakhtar Donetsk and with Barcelona he won the “Orejona” four times: 2006, 2009, 2011 and the last one in 2015.

At 35 years old and less than three months before the appointment in Qatar, the seven-times chosen best player in the world will seek to fulfill the first objective of the season: to qualify PSG to the round of 16 of the Champions League. The first exam of the French champion will be against Juventus, the most winning team in Italy, which for this season was reinforced with two footballers with a close past in the Parc des Princes, where at the end of April they were celebrating the Ligue 1 title .

Paredes arrived in Turin on loan for a season with a purchase option a week ago and everything indicates that he will start. Di María, on the other hand, closed his successful cycle of seven seasons after not renewing the bond that expired on June 30, although he will not be able to return to his former home since he is not physically fit after the muscle injury he suffered two weeks ago. The youth from Mar del Plata Matías Soulé was finally summoned by DT Massimiliano Allegri to replace the loss of “Fideo” and will surely be on the substitute bench.

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Paris Saint Germain, under the new cycle of Christophe Galtier, will try to play the final again, which in this edition will be in Istanbul, in search of its first and coveted European title. By the same group and at the same time but in Lisbon, Benfica will debut as a local for Maccabi Haifa, from Israel. Nicolás Otamendi and Enzo Fernández, one of the surprises on the Argentine team’s previous list for the next friendlies, will be in the Portuguese team.

The first day will also feature the presentation of Manchester City at the home of Seville, the team with the most Argentines in the competition. With the possible debut of Julián Álvarez in the Champions League, those led by Josep “Pep” Guardiola will visit the Spanish team of Alejandro Gómez, Erik Lamela, Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuña, within the framework of group G. They are also in the same area Borussia Dortmund and Copenhagen, which will open the date from 1:45 p.m. in Germany.

At the same time and for Group E, Chelsea will visit Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, while they will complete in Austria from 4:00 p.m. Milan against Salzburg, which has Nicolás Capaldoa in its ranks.

The debut of Real Madrid, last champion and maximum winner of the tournament, will be in Scotland against Celtic, from 4 p.m. In the local team, which will compete again after four years of absence, the presence of the young defender is expected among those summoned Alexandro Bernabei, former Lanús, who was entered in the main list with number 25. This group F will be complemented by the match between Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk, which will be played from 16 in Germany.

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