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International

MATCHDAY: Manchester Derby in FA Cup Final, Messi’s Last Game for PSG

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:

ENGLAND

Manchester City and Manchester United meet in a FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium with so much riding on it. City is looking to complete the second leg of a potential treble of trophies, having already won the Premier League and reached the final of the Champions League against Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10. Only one team has won all of those trophies in one season — Man United in 1999. As well as preserving that unique achievement, United is bidding to win a second domestic trophy this season, having captured the League Cup in February.

FRANCE

Lionel Messi bids farewell to Paris Saint-Germain after two seasons in the capital that have left a taste of unfinished business. Messi was brought to PSG to help the club win the Champions League. Instead, PSG bowed out in the last 16 in both seasons with the World Cup winner in the squad. Messi’s numbers with PSG, however, are not too bad ahead of Saturday’s final match of Ligue 1 against Clermont at the Parc des Princes: 32 goals in 74 games, according to league statistics. Messi, the top provider in the league this season with 16 assists, has been regularly whistled and booed by PSG ultras in recent weeks and club officials hope it won’t happen again for his finale. PSG was crowned champion for a record 11th time last weekend, ahead of Lens and Marseille. With the top three spots settled, focus will be on Lille, Rennes and Monaco, who are battling for the two remaining European places. Also, eight-time champion Nantes hosts last-placed Angers and hoping to avoid relegation. Nantes is in a two-way fight with Auxerre to determine who goes down alongside already-relegated Troyes, Ajaccio and Angers.

GERMANY

Leipzig bids to retain the German Cup when it plays Eintracht Frankfurt in the final in Berlin. It could be the last Frankfurt game for in-demand French striker Randal Kolo Muani, and it will certainly be the last game for coach Oliver Glasner. Frankfurt’s Europa League title last season and solid performances in this season’s cup and Champions League burnished Glasner’s reputation but some poor results in the Bundesliga took their toll and Frankfurt said last month he would leave at the end of the season. A win for Leipzig would be a reward for coach Marco Rose, who took charge in September after a poor start to the season and guided the team to third in the league. Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku is expected to join Chelsea in the offseason.

ITALY

Torino needs to win at home against Champions League finalist Inter Milan in Serie A to retain a chance of qualifying for the Europa Conference League. A win would see Torino move back into eighth place and that could be enough if Juventus is excluded from European competition by UEFA. Having already secured a spot in the top four of Serie A, Inter could rest some players ahead of next weekend’s Champions League final against Manchester City. Lazio has also already qualified for next season’s Champions League and it visits Empoli in its final match of the season. Relegated Cremonese will be looking to sign off with a win when it hosts Salernitana.

 

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