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Barcelona to Play South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in Johannesburg Next Week

Spanish football giants Barcelona will play a friendly match against South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in Johannesburg on May 16 as part of the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations.

The game will be played at the FNB stadium, formerly known as the Soccer City stadium, where Spain won the 2010 World Cup with a team featuring Barca players Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and captain Andres Iniesta, who struck the only goal in their 1-0 win over the Netherlands.

The Catalans will travel to Johannesburg a day before the match, which is scheduled to kick off at 6.15PM local time.

“FC Barcelona has always professed its admiration for Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest figures of the 20th century, who after 27 years in prison went on to become the first democratically elected president of post-apartheid South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Mandela represented the struggle for freedom and equality in the country, and played a huge role in unifying the racially divided society. It is precisely this kind of spirit with which FC Barcelona has always been identified,” a statement from the club read in part.

FC Barcelona have played 21 games on African soil over the years, and this will be their second visit to South Africa. The last time they were in the country was 2007 for a friendly in Pretoria, also against the Mamelodi Sundowns. The Catalans won that game 2-1.

With two games still to play in the 2017/18 season, the Catalans hope they can manage to remain unbeaten, having already won the La Liga trophy.

If they manage that feat, Barcelona will become the first team to finish a season unbeaten in the top flight league since 1933.

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