Spanish football giants Barcelona have arrived in South Africa to play in the Mandela Centenary Cup tonight, causing huge excitement among fans who hope to see superstars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in action.
Barcelona landed at O.R. Tambo International Airport after a two-hour delay, with fans waiting to welcome their heroes.
South Africa’s TimesLive news site has tweeted the scene at the airport:
— Times LIVE (@TimesLIVE) May 16, 2018
The players waved to the crowd, and headed straight to their bus under heavy security and police guard and without speaking to the media.
Barcelona will face off Mamelodi Sundowns in front of a capacity crowd at the FNB Stadium, where Spain lifted the football World Cup in 2010.
This is the second time Barcelona are playing in South Africa. They beat Sundowns 2-1 in their previous encounter in 2007.
Tonight’s match is part of celebrations to mark 100 years since the birth of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
He died in December 2013 aged 95, and Barcelona wore black armbands during a Copa del Rey game against Cartagena to honour Mr Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail for fighting the racist system of apartheid in South Africa.