Lionel Messi returns as Barcelona seal victory at Mamelodi Sundowns

Lionel Messi returns as Barcelona seal victory at Mamelodi Sundowns

"It is an honour to be invited to celebrate the 100 years that Nelson Mandela was born I think the people enjoyed it very much watching his favourite players playing".

Though Messi, Gerrard Pique and Philippe Coutinho all started from the bench, an otherwise strong Barca XI encountered few hiccups, aside from a Sibusiso Vilakazi consolation strike in the 76th minute.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said: "If you look at the match and if you look at the result, you look at the goals you understand that this team [Barca] scores goals, they scored four goals yesterday".

This is the second time that Sundowns will host Barcelona for a friendly game, having previously met in 2007, a match that the Catalans won 2-1.

"I just want to thank God for the opportunity to be able to play against the best footballers in the world".

But the razzmatazz around the game is sure to be huge as Motsepe flexes his financial muscle to show that he, and not SAFA president Danny Jordaan, is arguably the most powerful man in South African football.

The match came three days after Barcelona suffered a stunning 5-4 defeat at lowly Levante in their second last La Liga match, robbing them of a chance to complete the season unbeaten.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Mina, Alena, Digne, Sergio, D Suarez, Rakitic Iniesta, Dembele, L Suarez.

Valverde made 10 changes during half-time, but Messi was not among those introduced, leading the crowd to repeatedly chant "Messi, Messi, Messi".

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