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Barcelona include Messi, Iniesta in squad for Mamelodi Sundowns friendly

17 May 2018

Luis Suarez was among the goalscorers as Barcelona beat South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 to win the Mandela Centenary Cup.

Valverde says he liked the enthusiasm Downs played with, while being honoured as a club to be invited for the Mandela 100 year celebrations.

Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Andre Gomes scored for Barcelona against the South African league victor in a game that formed part of South Africa's celebrations to mark 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who died in 2013.

His every touch drew huge applause and Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse was beaming after the final whistle having exchanged shirts with the Argentine maestro. That is the big question ahead of Wednesday's friendly between Mamelodi Sundowns and Barcelona. I think the African supporters are always very happy and want to enjoy everything.

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Barcelona got off to the flawless start thanks to Ousmane Dembele in the third minute.

Valverde made a host of the changes at half-time and eventually saw his side take a three-goal lead through Andre Gomes in the 67th minute, the midfielder making the most of a mix-up at the back.

Nevertheless, Barcelona, a team with a huge following in SA are expected to fly out directly after the match at FNB Stadium, as they are to play their last league match of the La Liga season at the Camp Nou, against Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Sibusiso Vilakazi scored Sundowns' goal late on but Barca was in cruise control.

Barcelona include Messi, Iniesta in squad for Mamelodi Sundowns friendly