The friendly between Mamelodi Sundowns and FC Barcelona was a game to remember for many football followers, especially those who were at FNB Stadium to witness it all.
It was the opportunity of a lifetime for many, and Kaizer Chiefs supporter Themba Mbatha, who was in attendance, shared his intimate moments of the game with Supporters Club's Lerato Mkhondo.
Lerato: Themba, thank you so much for your time. Let's go back to the day you heard that the Catalan giants will be making their way to South Africa. What was your reaction?
Themba: Honestly, there wasn't much excitement. I was just myself. Nothing too exciting.
Lerato: If that was the case, how did you end up going to the game?
Themba: A very close friend of mine invited me to the game and I could not turn him down as I was looking forward to the game. I might not have been too excited about it, but I was looking forward to it.
Lerato: Great. Considering that you're a Khosi, I would love to know which team you were supporting between the two giants?
Themba: To be honest, and I mean really honest, I was supporting football. I was there for the love of them. I was not supporting any team specifically. It's all about the love for the beautiful game.
Lerato: Wonderful. You were there, you witnessed it all. What was the atmosphere like at FNB Stadium?
Themba: It was incredible. I just wish South Africans could show the same enthusiasm and excitement for local football. What I also learned is that people were not really there for Sundowns or football, they were there for Barcelona and Lionel Messi.
Lerato: Messi! That's going to be my next question. The crowd went crazy when he was warming up on the side of the field. How was it?
Themba: Not only then, hey. The entire match! Even when he was on the bench, every time they showed him on the big screen, everyone just lost their minds! It goes back to what I said earlier, that people were there just for Messi. They were calling his name throughout! If we can do the same for our players and teams, our football can improve a lot.
Lerato: What did you learn from this friendly?
Themba: Not only did I learn something but hopefully Sundowns players learned a thing or two too. Pitso needs to have a proper meeting with his guys. It was really disappointing, how they played. The difference between holding on to the ball and releasing the ball. The likes of Percy Tau were rather disappointing. They held on to the ball for too long before dribbling. If you look at Barca players, they wasted no time on the ball. They were quick at dribbling. I hope Sundowns will apply those tactics going forward. Other than that, we all had fun and it was an amazing experience.
Lerato: Thank you Khosi, we are glad you had a great time. Chat soon1
What did you, as a supporter, learn from the Sundowns vs Barca game?