Lionel Messi Coming To South Africa
The power of Madiba, eh? As part of the celebrations commemorating 100 years since his birth, Mamelodi Sundowns will face Barcelona in a showpiece friendly.
It truly is a huge coup for both the Masandawara and South African football in general. The Catalan giants need no introduction on these shores, as their exploits in the game have re-written the sport’s history books.
Are the big stars coming out to play? Or will Barcelona just send a team out to fulfil an obligation? Ladies and gentleman, we have your answer.
Dr Patrice Motsepe – owner of Mamelodi Sundowns – told a press conference on Thursday that football fans can start getting excited. According to him, the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will take part in Johannesburg.
The director of La Liga Africa – Antonio Barradas – has also confirmed that “the top players” will compete against Mamelodi Sundowns. He even mentioned Lionel Messi by name.
What is great news for the neutral could be a nightmare for the coaching staff, though. Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane will now have to find a way to stop the Argentine magician and the ruthless threat of Barcelona’s attack.
Barcelona return to face the PSL champions 11 years after the sides first met. It was the Spanish title-winners’ maiden visit to South Africa, as they ran out 2-1 winners against the Sundowns.
They also sent a delegation of players to meet Nelson Mandela. So it’s incredibly fitting that the likes of Andrés Iniesta – who was present a decade ago – will be back in Mzansi to take part in the centenary celebrations.
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