Brazilians, Barca thriller for SA
SOUTH African champions Mamelodi Sundowns forked out €7 million (R104m) to host Spanish champions Barcelona at FNB Stadium on May 16 in an international friendly.
The Brazilians confirmed the news yesterday in what will be Barcelona’s second visit to the country to face Sundowns.
Their first bout took place at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in 2007. The Catalan side brought their star players, including Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o, for that game, which they won 2-1.
Barcelona will once again bring their star players to the country, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, as part of the agreement which Sundowns signed with the Spanish giant.
The match almost didn’t happen as Barcelona’s South American players wanted to return home to prepare for the World Cup. But the two parties managed to reach an agreement that will see them feature in this friendly before going home to prepare for the global showpiece that will be staged in Russia.
Sundowns’ match against Horoya, which was originally scheduled for May 15 in Guinea, in the Caf Champions League, has been pushed back to accommodate this friendly.
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.