Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Lionel Messi Included in Barcelona Squad for Friendly vs. Mamelodi Sundowns

Lionel Messi Included in Barcelona Squad for Friendly vs. Mamelodi Sundowns

Barcelona FC's Lionel Messi (left) and Luis Suarez (right) arrive alongside their teammates at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on May 16, 2018.

While young players Carles Alena, Ruiz de Galarreta and Jorge Cuenca have also been included in the Barca squad, injured defenders Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen have been dropped from the touring side.

Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates touched down in South Africa on Wednesday morning, stoking excitement across the country's football fraternity ahead of a friendly match against Mamelodi Sundowns.

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Boston had no such problem with scoring distribution - with all five starters plus Marcus Smart scoring in double-figures. Boston had six players with double-figure scoring as the topped the Cavs, despite a triple-double from LeBron James .

Barca's stay on the continent will only be a brief one, though, with one last league game calling them against Real Sociedad as they look to close out their season in style at the Nou Camp four days after the Mandela Cup.

His inclusion in the squad for Wednesday's clash (kick-off 5:15 p.m. BST, 12:15 p.m. ET) effectively confirms that, as it seems clear he was not sidelined due to fitness issues.

Barcelona had already wrapped up the league title, but they were on course for an achievement rarely seen in the modern game and never in a 38-game La Liga season. "How long he is going to play is the coach's decision".

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