It's official: Messi will face Sundowns as part of full strength Barca squad

15 May 2018 - 21:29 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi.

The wait is finally over after FC Barcelona confirmed on Tuesday night that Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi and Uruguay marksman Luis Suárez would face Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Wednesday.

SA league champions Sundowns host their Spanish counterparts in the highly anticipated Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup encounter, and the uncertainty over Messi's availability had been a huge source of unease for the nation's soccer lovers.

South Africans were left in the dark after the two teams failed to confirm whether the reigning Spanish champions would bring a full strength squad to the match, which was listed as part of their weekly training schedule.

Barcelona finally put local fans out of their misery when they confirmed in a tweet that Messi and Suárez would make the trip to South Africa.

Barcelona are expected to arrive at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning and they will fly out immediately after the match to prepare for their last league match of the season, against Real Sociedad at Camp Nou, on Sunday.

Barca Squad: Ter Stegen‚ Cillessen‚ Semedo‚ Piqué‚ Rakitic‚ Sergio‚ Denis‚ Iniesta‚ Suárez‚ Messi‚ Dembélé‚ Coutinho‚ Paulinho‚ Alcácer‚ Alba‚ Digne‚ S Roberto‚ André Gomes‚ A Vidal‚ Y Mina‚ Aleñá (26)‚ R de Galarreta‚ J Cuenca.