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Phil Masinga: Mamelodi Sundowns' clash with Barcelona will measure the standard of the PSL

11:52 GMT+3 16/05/2018
Philemon Masinga and Innocent Buthelezi of South Africa celebrate with the trophy of the Africa Cup of Nations 1996
'Chippa' believes the game against Barca will give Masandawana a good opportunity to measure themselves against the best

Former Bafana Bafana striker Philemon Masinga says he doesn’t expect an intense game of football between Mamelodi Sundowns and Barcelona on Wednesday.

The Spanish La Liga giants are set to lock horns against the new Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions at the FNB Stadium.

Although the clash will commemorate former South Africa state president Nelson Mandela’s 100th year birthday, the man known as 'Chippa' believes that both sides will be cautious in their approach.

Moreover, the former Jomo Cosmos striker said La Roja legend Andres Iniesta will relive his memories of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The Spanish midfielder netted for the Europeans as they beat the Netherlands 1-0 eight years ago at the Calabash.

Iniesta is set to leave the club at the end of the 2017/18 La Liga season and Masinga says it will be a special moment for the midfield general.

For Pitso Mosimane’s men who lost 2-1 in 2007 to the Catalans, he said it will be special for them if they win, but he doesn’t expect too much hunger from the Tshwane side after lifting their eighth PSL title last weekend.

“Yeah look, I think it is a good exhibition game for two champions and I am not sure how will it benefit us as a nation or Sundowns because they will just leave after the game,” Masinga told Goal.

“I would have liked to see (Barcelona) the players perhaps hoping to visit children, the local clubs, conduct some training clinics, but they have a busy schedule," he said.

“Some of their players are preparing for the World Cup and going to their national teams – but it’s important for the young kids to see their heroes live and that will inspire them," said the man whose goal took Bafana to their very first World Cup back in 1998.

“For Sundowns, I think to share to pitch with these stars will also help them to learn from the game as far as tactics and conduct is concerned," he noted.

“Sundowns have just won the league and they will want to measure their progress on the field of play in issues such as tactical awareness and so on," he continued.

“Having said that, the two leagues will be on a scale to measure our PSL brand. The matter of quality of our players and that is why I say the game will not be intense because Barcelona players are heading to Russia -  I don’t expect 100% energy in the game," said the 48-year-old.

“Yes it will be a wonderful occasion for the fans as well, it is a big occasion because they showed their support by buying the tickets," he said.

“Moreover, for Iniesta, the game will bring back memories after lifting the World Cup trophy at the same venue in 2010 and he is set to leave the club, if that is true - it will be special for him," said the Klerksdorp-born star.

“I will enjoy the game, but even more when Sundowns win,” concluded the legend.