Maccabi Haifa players have expressed their excitement about facing the PSG superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar after the Israeli club qualified and were drawn in the same UEFA Champions League group with Paris Saint Germain.
The Israeli club Maccabi Haifa paved their way through to the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2009, after defeating Red Star Belgrade 5-4 on aggregate in the play-off round. After registering a 3-2 victory in the home leg, the Israeli club made a late comeback to obtain a 2-2 draw at the Red Star Stadium on the 24th of August.
The Greens have been grouped with PSG, Juventus, and Benfica in Group H in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League campaign.
Paris Saint Germain Superstars Messi and Neymar received an unconventional request from Maccabi Haifa players who made a plea to exchange shirts with them ahead of the champions league game.
The PSG stars Messi and Neymar have been superb this season; no wonder their form has caught the attention of Omar Atzili of Maccabi Haifa and his teammates.
Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. have put the Parisians to a perfect start in the ongoing 2022-23 Ligue 1 season.
PSG are currently top of the table with nine points after winning their first three matches. While Messi registered three goals and two assists, Neymar has contributed five goals with six assists since Ligue 1 started this season.
Maccabi Haifa midfielder and winger, Omar Atzili took to his Instagram story to share a photo that featured his team-mate Dolev Haziza on Thursday evening, August 25. In the photograph, he tagged Neymar Jr. and Messi and wrote: “T-shirt to us, please. Messi and Neymar.“
Although requesting shirts on the pitch is a common occurrence in professional football but doing it a month before the game and through social media seems a bit hasty and makes clear Maccabi’s anxiety about facing the French Champions, PSG.
The Israeli Champions Maccabi Haifa lifted the Israeli Premier League last season, May 16, 2022, which secured the team a spot in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers this season.
However, it’s glaring that the Israeli giant is the weakest team in Group H and will have to strive very hard to qualify for the next phase of the competition.
Instead of resenting and lamenting the group that they got into, their players got excited as they can’t wait to meet thier great rivals in the UEFA Champions League.
One of the Maccabi Haifa midfielders, Dolev Haziza, who peered with Omar Atzili to request for shirts from the PSG Superstars Neymar and Messi had shared his thoughts on the much-awaited UEFA Champions League draw.
He said:”We watched the draw in our dressing room. It was absolutely amazing, like a volcano. We play against three of the best players in the world. That’s just huge! I still can’t quite believe it.”
Haziza revealed Neymar as his favorite among other great players and appraised the Brazilian and Argentine Superstars; Neymar and Messi, describing the two legends as football gods.
He said: “It’s no secret that Neymar is my favorite player and I learned a few things from him. He and Messi are just football gods!”
The 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage is set to commence on September 6 and conclude with the final on June 10, 2023.