- Barcelona beat Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 in the annual Nelson Mandela Cup to commemorate his 100th year birthday on Wednesday, May 16
- Luis Suarez, Andre Gomez and Ousmane Dembele were all on the score sheet on the night, while Sibusiso Vilakazi got the consolation for the hosts
- Meanwhile, Lionel Messi's presence in the African country made some of his fans burst into tears as they got autographs from him
Spanish League champions Barcelona were in South Africa on Wednesday to feature in an exhibition game against Mamelodi Sundowns to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.
A goal each from Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Andre Gomes ensured the Catalans beat their hosts 3-1 in the annual Mandela Cup.
Just 15 minutes into the end of the game, Lionel Messi came in for Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta, but the highlight of the events was the fans of the Argentine bursting into tears after getting an autograph from him.
The mere sight of the attacker was enough to bring out tears of joy from his fans in South Africa as the Barcelona superstar signed shirts at the team hotel.
"The expectation which Leo generated here [in South Africa] was incredible," Barca boss Ernesto Valverde said.
“They were screaming for him from the very first moment, not just in the stadium, but from the second we stepped foot in the country."
Meanwhile, Sibusiso Vilakazi’s goal ensured the hosts registered a goal to make it 3-1in a lively friendly in the South African capital, which was said to have earned a neat 3 million euros for the Catalans.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Lionel Messi has ruled out leaving Barcelona for any other club after being linked with Manchester City some time last year.
The 30-year-old led the Catalans to a double this season but their unbeaten run came to a rude shock last weekend after losing 5-4 to Levante in their second to the last La Liga game.
He has scored 383 goals 417 matches for the Catalans – winning nine La Liga titles, three Champions League and several other domestic and continental cups in the process.
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