Messi and FC Barcelona heavy-weights in SA

Barcelona to Play Mamelodi Sundowns in Mandela Centenary Cup

Star striker Lionel Messi and midfielder Andres Iniesta have been named in the 23-man Barcelona squad for a friendly match against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Mandela Centenary Cup.

Valverde made multiple changes to his full-strength side at half-time before Lionel Messi came on for the final 15 minutes of the game.

The match is part of South Africa's celebrations to mark 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela.

Though Messi, Gerrard Pique and Philippe Coutinho all started from the bench, an otherwise strong Barca XI encountered few hiccups, aside from a Sibusiso Vilakazi consolation strike in the 76th minute.

The Catalans will hope to bounce back from their 5-4 defeat to Levante last weekend which ended their unbeaten La Liga streak this season.

Ousmane Dembele had given them the lead within three minutes, making the most of a defensive error to curl home expertly from the edge of the box.

Suarez made it 2-0 in the 19th minute before Andres Gomes scored on 66 minutes to make it 3-0.

Denis Suarez rattled the woodwork with a header as Barcelona constantly threatened and turned over two goals ahead. One of the substitutes, Andre Gomes, added Barca's third after good work by Paco Alcacer.

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