- Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was rested for the club’s last match against Levante
- The Spanish side is set to arrive in South Africa on Wednesday, the same day as their clash with PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns
- While not confirmed it is believed Barcelona will bring a full-strength team featuring Messi, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Andres Iniesta
Barcelona FC superstar Lionel Messi was conspicuous in his absence during his side’s thrilling 5-4 defeat at the hands of Levante. It is believed that Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde is taking the clash with Mamelodi Sundowns so serious that he allowed Messi some time to rest.
The newly crowned Spanish champions are set to play PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday evening for the Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup match at FNB stadium in Johannesburg.
While nothing has been confirmed as yet, it is believed that believed Barcelona will bring a full-strength team featuring Messi, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Andres Iniesta among others.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Barcelona is facing a hectic couple of weeks, which could be part of the reason for Messi being rested, the team will only arrive in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning, just a couple of hours before the scheduled kick-off.
The team will reportedly fly back to Spain on Wednesday night after the match against Sundowns.
Barcelona will be in action again in their final league game just four days after their whirlwind trip to South Africa.
Messi has appeared in 53 games for his side this season and has scored 45 goals. He has assisted with a further 18 goals.
The loss on Sunday meant Barcelona lost their winning-streak and any hope of finishing the season unbeaten.
Mamelodi coach Pitso Mosimane had the following to say ahead of the clash: “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. You look at the previous match they won 5 – 1, you look at the previous match, they drew 2-2... You look at the other one, they won 2 – 1 against Valencia.
Mosimane said Barcelona was a team which had to be respected regardless of who was or was not playing.
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