TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Soccer superstar Lionel Messi finally arrived in sports-crazed Israel on Sunday, after a Palestinian protest campaign derailed his previous visit and the latest round of cross-border fighting in Gaza threatened to scare him off once again.

Messi and his Argentine teammates are in the Holy Land to play an international friendly against his Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez and the Uruguay national team. It’s a game that has been just as eagerly anticipated for its political ramifications as it has for its sporting star power.

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