Barcelona topples Mamelodi Sundowns in friendly

Lionel Messi tells Barcelona chiefs to sell Andre Gomes this summer

With such achievements, a superb crowd, and a mouthwatering team up their sleeves it seemed as if Barcelona were up for a treat in South Africa.

FC Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has explained why Lionel Messi only featured in the final 20 minutes of their Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup win over Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.

A South African fan jumped the fence at FNB Stadium to get a once in a lifetime opportunity to touch Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

He had not appeared until kick-off, wrapped up against the chilly air as he took his place on the bench, but television pictures showed some female fans in tears as the Spanish champions came on to warm up.

David Warner to play Premier cricket in Sydney
Bancroft was also involved in the ball tampering incident which resulted in him being banned for nine months. But he is free to play at club level and is set to make a return to the field in September.

However, other than a bust of the former South African president serving as a trophy, handed to Barcelona skipper Andres Iniesta afterwards, there was little reference to the statesman as Messi fever took hold.

However, the technical team felt it was important for Messi to participate in the match, probably because of the huge support the 30-year-old enjoys in South Africa.

The Sundowns had to persuade Guinean club Horoya, and the Confederation of African Football, to postpone their Champions League tie by a week in order to play.

The match will now be play in Conakry on 22 May. Regardless, Sundowns managed to keep their composure which soon bore fruit as Sibusiso Vilakazi managed to resuscitate the hopes of Sundowns in the seventy-fifth minute of perhaps winning the match courtesy of an assist from Tau.

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