An attendance of 75,000 was recorded in at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg South, Africa as Barcelona entertained the crowd with their star players.
In commemoration of Nelson Mandela's one-hundredth birthday, FC Barcelona travelled to South Africa for a friendly game on 16 May against ABSA Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns.
However, other than a bust of the former South African president serving as a trophy, handed to Barcelona skipper Andres Iniesta afterwards, there was little reference to the statesman as Messi fever took hold.
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The Sundowns had to persuade Guinean club Horoya, and the Confederation of African Football, to postpone their Champions League tie by a week in order to play. However, the Sundowns team were not seemingly afraid of Messi as they tried by all means to ensure that his name was not part of the score sheet as he did in the LaLiga with an impressive ninety-eight goal tally in thirty-seven matches.
At just 22, he is a long-term prospect, and could be a match victor in the future for the newly crowned La Liga champions.
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. Barcelona fielded two completely different lineups in each half. Sibusiso Vilakazi scored the consolation goal for Sundowns. Messi and his team players later made their way to the scene of Spain's World Cup triumph in 2010.