Doubt has been cast on whether five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi will be among the players in the Barcelona squad who will do duty against Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.
The Absa Premiership champions will do duty against the five-time Champions League winners at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening, but questions have been raised as to whether the La Liga giants will indeed bring a full-strength squad for the spectacle honouring former president Nelson Mandela.
La Liga president Javier Tebas suggested that the Blaugrana would bring a star-studded outfit, with Sundowns spokesperson Thulani Thuswa uttering his sentiments.
‘Barcelona have agreed to bring their best possible squad for this match‚’ Thuswa told the media.
With no official confirmation from either clubs as to which Barcelona players will jet off to South Africa, an insider close to the dealings reportedly confirmed that Barcelona would honour the event by bringing the best possible team.
‘The last time Barcelona were in South Africa to play against Sundowns‚ Ronaldinho was here and he was the biggest star in the world at that time,’ the source said.
‘He was part of the deal and it is the same with Messi now.
‘He will be here but how long he is going to play is the decision of the coach,’ he added.
Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe last week revealed that the names of the players will not be publicised, but did claim that there is a ‘contract in place that stipulates which players will be coming’.