Football: World Cup stars Neymar, Mbappe and Griezmann missing as PSG, Atletico announce ICC squads

(From left) Neymar, Mbappe and Griezmann.were among big names not included in the line-ups.
(From left) Neymar, Mbappe and Griezmann.were among big names not included in the line-ups.PHOTOS: AFP, EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - Four years ago, Neymar sprinkled his magic all over the National Stadium as he scored all the goals in Brazil's 4-0 friendly win over Japan.

But it is unlikely Kallang will see the entertainer for the 2018 International Champions Cup (ICC) as his club Paris Saint-Germain did not include him in the travelling party.

PSG announced their squad of 24 on Twitter on Tuesday (July 24) and the samba star's name is conspicuously missing, alongside those of fellow World Cup footballers Kylian Mbappe (France), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Thomas Meunier (Belgium) and Angel di Maria (Argentina).

Similarly, Atletico Madrid's squad will not include the big names who played in Russia - Antoine Griezmann , Thomas Lemar, Lucas Hernandez (all France), Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia), Diego Costa, Koke (both Spain), Felipe Luis (Brazil), Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez (both Uruguay).

But fans in Singapore can still catch a glimpse of PSG's new signing Gianluigi Buffon, the evergreen 40-year-old goalkeeper. Other internationals arriving in Singapore on Wednesday morning are Layvin Kurzawa (France), Kevin Trapp (Germany) and Marco Verratti (Italy).

For star quality, Atletico, who are also arriving on Wednesday, have included Slovenia's top goalkeeper Jan Oblak and French striker Kevin Gameiro in their ICC squad.

Two rising stars to look out for have also been included in Thomas Tuchel's PSG squad - Argentinian midfielder Giovani lo Celso and 18-year-old Timothy Weah, the son of 1995 Ballon d'Or winner George.

Arsenal, the other team competing in the Singapore leg of the ICC, have brought along a squad of 25 who arrived on Monday and include Germany's Mesut Ozil, who played two of his team's three games at the World Cup.

 
 

The Gunners have also selected key players Aaron Ramsey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for the trip. Only Uruguay's Lucas Torreira and Switzerland's Stephan Lichtsteiner have been given an extended break following their exertions in Russia.

Still, the absence of Neymar will be felt. The 26-year-old became the world's most expensive player when he transferred from Barcelona to PSG for €222 million (S$349 million) last August.

In 2014, he plundered four goals against Japan at the National Stadium, earning him thunderous applause from the fans who hailed his perfect effort of a header, a goal with his left foot and two goals with his right.

But football fan Diana Yeow is not too disappointed and she is looking forward to watching one of the best goalkeepers ever in action. She tweeted: "World Cup duties, probably. But Gigi Buffon, he is on the list!"

Paris Saint-German squad

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Sebastien Cibois, Remy Descamps, Kevin Trapp.

Defenders: Colin Dagba, Alec Georgen, Layvin Kurzawa, Loic Mbe Soh, Stanley Nsoki, Kevin Rimane, Moussa Sissako, Arthur Zagre.

Midfielders: Antoine Bernede, Julian Draxler, Lassana Diarra, Giovani lo Celso, Christopher Nkunku, Adrien Rabiot, Azzedine Toufiqui, Marco Verratti.

Forwards: Jean-Christophe Bahebeck, Alexandre Fressange, Virgiliu Postolachi, Timothy Weah.

Atletico Madrid squad 

Goalkeepers: Jan Oblak, Antonio Adan, Alex dos Santos.

Defenders: Juanfran Torres, Aitor Punal, Andres Solano, Francisco Montero, Alberto Rodriguez, Carlos Isaac.

Midfielders: Rodrigo Hernandez, Thomas Partey, Vitolo, Roberto Olabe, Toni Moya, Oscar García Quintela, Mikel Carro, Joaquin Munoz, Víctor Mollejo.

Forwards: Ángel Correa, Kevin Gameiro, Luciano Vietto, Borja Garces.