The two teams have not given a definitive answer to questions about Messi’s availability for this clash but he is expected to play some part in a match that has been listed by Barcelona as part of their training schedule for the week.
It also doesn’t help that Sundowns officials are reluctant to even mention Messi’s name in the buildup to the friendly encounter.
“Barcelona have agreed to bring their best possible squad for this match‚” Sundowns spokesperson Thulani Thuswa said on Tuesday.
Insiders at the club told TimesLIVE that Messi is part of the package that was agreed to during the negotiations for the match and he will be in SA with superstars like Philippe Coutinho‚ Ousmane Dembélé‚ Luis Suárez‚ Sergio Busquets‚ Gerard Piqué and Jordi Alba.
“The last time Barcelona were in South Africa to play against Sundowns‚ Ronaldinho was here and he was the biggest star in the world at that time‚” said an insider.