Barcelona: Mamelodi Sundowns to host LaLiga giants this month

The South African Premier Soccer League winners will host the Spanish champions on 16 May at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Barcelona: Mamelodi Sundowns to host LaLiga giants this month
Ferrán Zueras Diario AS

South African Premier League (PSL) champions Mamelodi Sundowns will face Spanish giants Barcelona in a friendly clash on 16 May at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium, the Pretoria team confirmed over the weekend.

"The plan was to make the announcement on Monday in Spain. Somehow it got into the public domain and there have been so many enquiries," Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe said on local radio.

"This is the year of the Nelson Mandela Centenary year. We have partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation."

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.

On Saturday, the Pretoria side clinched the 2017/18 Absa Premier Soccer League title after beating Ajax Cape Town at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

Barcelona expected to bring stars

According to a report by the BBC, it is believed that part of the agreement for the fixture is that the LaLiga champions will bring along stars such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez.

However, with the World Cup looming, it remains to be seen how much time such big names will spend on the pitch.

The encounter will come just 24 hours after the Pretoria side play away in Conakry against Horoya in an African Champions League match.

Sundowns have already submitted a request to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to postpone the Horoya encounter to 22 May.