Barcelona vs Mamelodi Sundowns

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The wait is finally over after FC Barcelona confirmed on Tuesday night that Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi and Uruguay marksman Luis Suárez would face Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Wednesday.SA league champions Sundowns host their Spanish counterparts in the highly anticipated Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup encounter, and the uncertainty over Messi’s availability had been a huge source of unease for the nation’s soccer lovers.South Africans were left in the dark after the two teams failed to confirm whether the reigning Spanish champions would bring a full strength squad to the match, which was listed as part of their weekly training schedule.

Barcelona finally put local fans out of their misery when they confirmed in a tweet that Messi and Suárez would make the trip to South Africa.Barcelona are expected to arrive at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning and they will fly out immediately after the match to prepare for their last league match of the season, against Real Sociedad at Camp Nou, on Sunday.

Barca Squad: Ter Stegen‚ Cillessen‚ Semedo‚ Piqué‚ Rakitic‚ Sergio‚ Denis‚ Iniesta‚ Suárez‚ Messi‚ Dembélé‚ Coutinho‚ Paulinho‚ Alcácer‚ Alba‚ Digne‚ S Roberto‚ André Gomes‚ A Vidal‚ Y Mina‚ Aleñá (26)‚ R de Galarreta‚ J Cuenca.Mamelodi Sundowns vs Barcelona is set to be one of the most iconic games to take place in South Africa. With massive stars like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez confirmed to play in the match, this showpiece event is set to live up to the hype.

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.Now, the hosts have a chance for revenge. Although, this fixture is being played in a kind spirit. Barcelona agreed to be part of the celebrations for #Mandela100, commemorating a century since the legendary leader was born.Jacques Grobbelaar is a CEO for Stadium Management SA. The FNB Stadium (venue for the game) falls under his remit and he’s very much been the source of all the breaking information so far. He was the first to confirm the kick-off time, as well as ticket prices.

Now, we’re getting regular updates from him on how fast these tickets are going. Yes, as you’ve guessed, they’re flying off the shelves:Dr Grobbelaar revealed that the entire allocation of 78 787 has sold out, just 72 hours after going on sale. If that doesn’t convince you how much of a religion football is to South African fans, nothing willFC Barcelona will not confirm their trip to South Africa for an international friendly with Mamelodi Sundowns until they have ‘enough payment guarantees’, Catalunya Ràdio reports.

Sundowns announced last week that the Spanish giants will be revisiting South Africa for a friendly match scheduled for May 16, 2018 at the FNB Stadium.While Barcelona denied any knowledge of the proposed match twice this week when contacted by Goal, the encounter appears likely to go ahead as initially planned, provided Sundowns meet all their demands before it’s too late.According to Goal sources, the club officials were ordered not to utter a word to the media about Sundowns’ invitation until everything is finalized. If there are no payment guarantees then the proposed match will not take place.

Independent Media in South Africa reports that Barcelona have demanded a fee of around R100 million to take part in the match.With just seven days to go before the said match, it remains to be seen if everything will finalised just in time for the event to be a success.Sundowns said the proposed match will form part of the Nelson Mandela’s Centenary celebrations. The former South African state president, who passed away in December 2013, would have turned 100 this year.

Furthermore, Catalunya Ràdio reports that Fifa president Gianni Infantino as well as former USA state president Barack Obama will be among the dignitaries attending the proposed match.Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) CEO Jacques Grobbelaar has announced ticket pricing for the encounter on his official Twitter account.While Mamelodi Sundowns enjoyed a trophy parade on the streets of Pretoria on Monday, Barcelona suffered an injury blow ahead of their big clash against Masandawana at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday.

Defender Thomas Vermaelen picked up a hamstring injury on Sunday night during Barca’s shock 5-4 defeat to Levante, which resulted in their 43-match unbeaten run in La Liga being ended.Ernesto Valverde’s team were hoping to become the first club ever to go through the league season without a defeat, but they fell short in their penultimate La Liga clash.Gerard Pique, who was “rested” on the bench, had to replace the 32-year-old Belgian Vermaelen in the 30th minute against Levante.

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