FC Barcelona have arrived in South Africa only hours before their international friendly against Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday evening.
The newly crowned South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions are set to lock horns with the Blaugrana for the second time in their history, in a match that will used to commemorate the 100th birthday of the fallen former state president Nelson Mandela.
Ever since the announcement that Barcelona would be heading to South African shores, there has been much excitement, but one question on everyone’s mind was just what kind of squad would Barcelona bring to South Africa, considering that they still have a La Liga game remaining as well as it being a Fifa World Cup year, with the 2018 showcase event just a month away.
Nonetheless, Barcelona have put to bed rumours of bringing a ‘B side’ as stars such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez have all made the trip to South Africa. This should excite fans and perhaps the Masandawana fans too who have an opportunity to test themselves against the very best in the world.
However, with criticism also being directed towards the due to the timing of the friendly and the risk of injury, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has previously admitted that his side would take it a bit easy and treat the spectacle as a friendly game.
The clash is set to be played in front of a sold-out crowd at the FNB Stadium, and for a player such as Iniesta, the ‘Calabash’ will bring back fond memories as it was the same venue which he scored at to give his national team side Spain, their very first Fifa World Cup trophy back in 2010.
Meanwhile, Barca took to social media to confirm the names of their travelling contingent.
40.R de Galarreta
41.J Cuenca pic.twitter.com/JLOl7BqMx5 — FC Barcelona 🏆🏆 (@FCBarcelona) May 16, 2018