Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique celebrate winning a match. Photo: Reuters / Susana Vera Livepic

JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns' president Patrice Motsepe confirmed that the Brazilians' friendly against Spanish giants will go ahead at FNB Stadium on Wednesday.

This friendly, part of the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations, has been shrouded in mystery as Barcelona had not confirmed their participation and were even quoted as denying the existence of such a match as they are focusing on finishing their season unbeaten.

That official announcement was made at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday. That match will kick-off at 6pm at FNB Stadium.

"Mamelodi Sundowns and the Motsepe Foundation are honoured to play a humble role in the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations in honour of our icon, Dr. Nelson Mandela who was respected and inspired people throughout the world," Motsepe said.

"Dr Nelson Mandela often referred to the power of sports and football to unite people from different races and different backgrounds. We want our youth who love football to believe that they have the potential to be as good as the best in the world and those who want to be doctors, engineers, technologists or any other professional or entrepreneur to be inspired by the successes of those in football and other sport and to believe that through hard work and sacrifice their dreams can come true."

La Liga Africa Director, Antonis Barradas, announced that the Catalan giants would bring their star players including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta in the match billed as Champions versus Champions.

IOL Sport

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