Argentina's Lionel Messi takes part during a team training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain, Friday, June 1, 2018. Israel will play against Argentina next 9 June in a friendly soccer match. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Israel in Uproar over Argentina Pre-World Cup Friendly Snub

JERUSALEM — The sports-crazed nation of Israel was in uproar Wednesday over Argentina’s abrupt cancellation of a World Cup warmup match following pro-Palestinian protests, with some of the country’s leaders accusing Lionel Messi and his teammates of caving to terrorism.

Argentina's Lionel Messi takes part during a team training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain, Friday, June 1, 2018. Israel will play against Argentina next 9 June in a friendly soccer match. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Palestinian Soccer Chief Urges Lionel Messi to Boycott Israel

The head of the Palestinian football federation is calling on Arab and Muslim sports fans to burn photos and T-shirts of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi if he attends a friendly match between Argentina and Israel next weekend.

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Some on Arab Social Media Decry Egypt Visit of Soccer Star Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, one of the world’s most celebrated footballers, arrived in Egypt this week as part of a government campaign to resurrect the medical tourism industry, a vital source of revenue that has dwindled since the 2011 Arab Spring revolution and the political instability that ensued.

Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi proudly wears one of the jerseys sent by his idol Lionel Messi

Little Messi Fan Flees Afghanistan After Taliban Threats

A five-year-old Afghan boy who became famous online after photos surfaced of him playing soccer in a Lionel Messi “jersey” made out of a garbage bag has fled Afghanistan for Pakistan, after months of threats from jihadi groups.

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Argentine Engineer Kidnapped in Nigeria: ‘Lionel Messi Saved My Life’

A 28-year-old Argentine agricultural engineer, recently liberated from abduction likely committed by nomadic criminal groups in Nigeria, told his family to thank soccer superstar Lionel Messi for saving his life. The athlete’s name, claims Santiago López Menéndez, was the only way he could communicate to his captors that he was Argentine and not American.