Lionel Messi is called up for his first MLS All-Star Game

Lionel Messithe leader of the Inter Miamiheads the list of footballers chosen to play this month in the All-Star Game that will face a team from the MLS against another from the Mexican league.

Messi, who is currently playing in the Copa América with Argentina, did not get to participate in this event last year as he had just arrived at the Miami franchise.

The All-Star Game will take place in Columbus, Ohio, on July 24, two weeks after the Copa América closes with the final on July 14 in Miami, Florida.

At 37, Messi remains a dominant force in MLS with 12 goals and 13 assists in 12 games this season for top-flight Inter.

The other three former Inter players, Spaniards Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets and Uruguayan Luis Suárez, are also on the MLS roster, which was expanded this year to 30 players.

The roster was selected through a combination of fan, player and media voting as well as direct appointments from MLS head coach Wilfried Nancy (Columbus Crew) and MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Also in the squad are French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, a star signing for Los Angeles FC; Spaniard Riqui Puig (LA Galaxy), Mexican Héctor Herrera (Houston Dynamo) and Colombians Juan Camilo ‘Cucho’ Hernández (Columbus Crew) and Cristian Arango (Real Salt Lake), the current top scorer in the tournament with 16 goals.

The biggest names in MLS will once again face off against Liga MX players after last year’s 5-0 defeat by English side Arsenal.

Other recent rivals were Atlético de Madrid (2019), Juventus (2018) and Real Madrid (2017).