Mamelodi Sundowns' Tiyani Mabunda not chasing after Barcelona star Lionel Messi's jersey

Ruben Hill
May 17, 2018

Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, owns the Sundowns and is the fifth-wealthiest South African billionaire, will pay Barcelona £2.6million for making the one-day trip.

Valverde made 11 changes at half-time, with injured duo Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti the only first-team players not to feature.

Barcelona will play an worldwide friendly against Mamelodi Sundowns, the champions of South Africa's Premier Soccer League, in Johannesburg on May 16 to mark 100 years since the birth of former president Nelson Mandela, the club announced on Thursday.

Sundowns led inside two minutes through stalwart forward Surprise Moriri, and held that advantage through most of the match before the visitors found an equaliser.

The capacity crowd was certainly getting value for their money as the action continued, Sundowns having a couple of chances as ter Stegen tipped a Vilakazi effort onto the bar, before Khama Billiat lost his nerve at the far post with the goal at his mercy and then Hlompho Kekana had a vicious shot tipped over by the Catalan goalkeeper.

South Africans thronged to Soccer City stadium on a cold night to see world superstar Lionel Messi and their wishes were granted when he came off the bench on 74 minutes.

Ronaldinho was instrumental in the Barca victor too, as he laid a pass on for youth academy product Marc Crosas, who buried the ball.

The high-profile worldwide club friendly between Mamelodi Sundowns and Spanish powerhouses FC Barcelona is scheduled for tonight. They will be up against more experienced players.

Towards the final whistle, a number of The Brazilians started sidling up to Ronaldinho, eager to grab his shirt as the referee blew.

"We did make crucial defensive errors, but I took a lot of positives from this match, including our passing and how we dispossessed Barcelona at times".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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