Mamelodi Sundowns Coach Pitso “Jingles” Mosimane says they will use the much-anticipated clash against Spanish title-winners Barcelona to test their tactical acumen.
Barcelona return to face the ABSA Premiership champions 11 years after the sides first met. Barca ran out 2-1 winners against the Brazilians.
Renowned global football icons, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, will form part of the contingent heading to Johannesburg. Mosimane says he will field his strongest side at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening.
“The Barca game is for the guys to get experience, to see what is the level, what is the difference between us and Barca; PSL and Laliga, what’s the difference between African football to European football. But for me personally is to see how far our tactics are in relation to Barca. Of course we’re not going stop Barca from playing, nobody has stopped Barca from playing. They scored two goals against Real Madrid.”
Reflecting on the past season, the Sundowns coach says he’s surpassed his expectations in the domestic football. Mosimane says his challenge is to retain the CAF Champions League. Since joining the Brazilians in the 2012/13 season, the club has, among others, won three league titles and the 2016 CAF Champions League edition.
However, Sundowns started their Group B Champions League campaign on a lukewarm note following a one-all draw against defending champions Wydad Casablanca of Morocco. Mosimane says they will do their utmost to reach the knockout phase.
Sundowns were officially crowned 2017/2018 ABSA Premiership champions after playing to a goalless draw against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Dr Petrus Molema Stadium on Saturday.
Sundowns finished the current league league campaign on sixty points, ahead of second placed Orlando Pirates.
The club’s next mission is to conquer the African continent again by winning the CAF Champions League, and in this way return to the FIFA club World Cup.