- International Club Friendly Match:
- 16th May, 2018
- Mamelodi Sundowns Vs FC Barcelona – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
Liberia Lonestar captain Anthony Laffor and Mamelodi Sundowns’ first wonder man has a chance to face FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi when the two clubs face off mid May in an international club friendly at the FNB Stadium in South Africa.The development was confirmed by the Mamelodi Sundowns’ president Patrice Motsep on Friday.
Can you believe it – the champions of South Africa against the champions of Spain? Well, you better get used to it, because that’s what’s happening on May 16 at the FNB Stadium: Mamelodi Sundowns will take on Barcelona.
Eight-time Absa Premiership winners Sundowns announced on their Twitter account on Friday night that they will host Barca – who clinched their 25th La Liga title last week – at the home of South African soccer in less than two weeks’ time.
Barcelona are to travel to South Africa later this month for a friendly with newly crowned South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
The match will be played at Soccer City, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, on 16 May and it is the second time that Sundowns have brought the Spanish giants out for a friendly match.
The game will come just 24 hours after Sundowns play away in Conakry against Horoya in the second of their Group C matches in the African Champions League.
They will have to charter a plane to make sure they are back from Guinea in time for kick-off at Soccer City.
In 2007, Sundowns billionaire owner Patrice Motsepe was alleged to have paid close to U$1-million to bring Barcelona out for a one-off friendly, which the Catalan side won 2-1 after being a goal down at half-time.
Motsepe, a mining magnate and the brother-in-law of South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, attempted in the past to forge close links with Barcelona and used club legend Johan Cruyff as a sounding board at times.
It was Cruyff who recommended two former Barcelona stars – Hristo Stoichkov and Johan Neeskens – to coach Sundowns but neither had an impressive, nor lengthy, tenure with the Pretoria-based club.
“The plan was to make the announcement on Monday in Spain. Somehow it got into the public domain and there have been so many enquiries,” Motsepe said on local radio as he confirmed the news.
“This is the year of the Nelson Mandela Centenary year. We have partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.”
It has been reported that part of the agreement for the fixture is that Barca will bring along their star names, such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, though with the World Cup in Russia looming, it remains to be seen how much time they will spend on the pitch.
According to Soccer Laduma, Barcelona will first play against Levante on 13 May 2018.They will then travel to South Africa for the Mamelodi Sundowns game, before heading back to Spain to face Real Sociedad on 20 May.Mamelodi Sundowns last hosted Barcelona in 2007 with the Catalans winning 2-1.
/Source : Staff Reporter with support from -Kawa sports /BBC/www.iol.co.za