Barcelona to bring their stars to SA

Spanish giants and 2017/18 La Liga champions Barcelona FC will bring their best players to South Africa for a friendly match against Mamelodi Sundowns

The Brazilians’ President Patrice Motsepe said on Thursday at the Sandton Convention Centre that Barcelona would bring the strong team, along with 100 top officials.

Newly crowned Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns will meet new La Liga champions Barcelona at FNB Stadium on Wednesday at 6pm in the Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup.

“That’s partly why we had to give them a little bit more time [in the organisations for the game] to make sure that – and as I said‚ this is the year of the World Cup – we get the very best,” said Motsepe.

He said that was an undertaking that they have received. “It is also important that in terms of our arrangements and specific agreements that we have, we’ve got to mention those specific players‚ as we’ve done in the past.”

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He said that he could not disclose information on particular players who would not be able to make the trip. “There are issues that we may not disclose. Safe to say, there is going to be a delegation of close to 100 people coming from Barcelona‚ and it will include the most senior leadership of Barcelona,” he said.

Barcelona have announced that they will be playing their part in the events to commemorate what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday, as they travel to South Africa for a friendly game.

“The teams will be playing for the Mandela Centenary Cup, which forms part of the celebrations of the life of Nelson Mandela in 2018. The game presents a wonderful opportunity for South African supporters of Barca and is being organised by the South African Football Association, together with La Liga World Challenge,” the statement on the website read.

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This is the club’s second visit to the country. The last time they were in the country was in 2007 for a friendly in Pretoria, also against Sundowns. They won that game 2-1.

Kickoff reports that tickets are selling at an unprecedented rate. They are currently on sale at Computicket outlets nationwide and cost R40-R550.

Additional reporting: Kickoff