Chicago: Lionel Messi's charity match at Chicago's Soldier Field has lost some of its star-studded luster.
The "Messi and Friends" match, to be played on Saturday night, was originally supposed to feature 36 international stars, including Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz and Robert Lewandowski.
Most of the big names have dropped out, and four former American collegiate players had to be added to the roster just to stage the game. Thierry Henry, Julio Cesar and Javier Mascherano are still scheduled to play.
About 25,000 tickets have been sold for the match, which is to benefit the Leo Messi Foundation for sick and at-risk children in Argentina.
The four-time Ballon D'Or winner was to have had a second charity match on Wednesday in Los Angeles, but it was canceled in a dispute with promoters.