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'Barca Didn't Want To Risk Messi Picking Up Any Injury'

Mamelodi Sundowns and FC Barcelona played in what will go down as one of the most memorable friendlies in the history of South African football.

When you mention Barcelona's name, it is automatically followed by Lionel Messi's. One cannot separate the two. When the majority of supporters realised the superstar will be part of the travelling team to Mzansi, the next thing on the minds was to see the five-time Ballon d'Or winner on the field.

However, the crowd at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening had to wait until the 75th minute before they could see the talented little magician showcase his out-of-this-world skills. Although Messi eventually made his way on to the field, many questions were raised regarding the star's late introduction to the game.

Supporters Club member munondidii has given his views as to why bringing the long-serving Barca goal-poacher late in the game was, in fact, a good idea.

"The story is simple. Barca didn't want to risk Messi picking up any injury with the World Cup around the corner. The coach had strict instructions from the Argentine FA. Imagine a World Cup without Messi," he said.

"Do you remember what Maradona said after playing Cameroon at Italia 90? He said: 'I will not play again with these guys after being rough played by the indomitable Lions players.'

"Even myself, I wouldn't risk a player of Messi's calibre just to please a few fans who paid to watch a friendly game."

Do you think it was a fair decision by Barcelona to bring Messi on so late in the game?


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