Messi to miss Sundowns, Barca clash

Andres Iniesta- cropped

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His every touch drew huge applause and Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse was beaming after the final whistle having exchanged shirts with the Argentine maestro.

The game will be Barca's second visit to South Africa.

Eleven years ago it was all about Brazilian legend Ronaldinho, while this year Lionel Messi is the focus for South African fans. and no doubt some of the Sundowns players.

"We came to play football and to honour Nelson Mandela, someone who was very close to the hearts of all Spaniards".

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




"We did make crucial defensive errors, but I took a lot of positives from this match, including our passing and how we dispossessed Barcelona at times".

Barcelona conclude their domestic campaign against Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp on Sunday.

The second goal wasn't long in coming though as once more the 'Downs defence was badly exposed, Soumahoro again getting himself into a tangle which allowed Suarez to run on to a 19th minute pass from Denis Suarez before putting the ball past an on-rushing Denis Onyango.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has picked arguably his strongest squad for this assignment, including Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, German keeper Marc-André ter Stegen, Gerard Pique and former Liverpool midfielder Phillipe Coutinho. One of the substitutes, Andre Gomes, added Barca's third after good work by Paco Alcacer.

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