Pitso outlines Downs’ approach for Barca
Posted: 15 May 2018 Time: 09:48
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has given some insight into what their approach will be when they host Spanish giants FC Barcelona on Wednesday.
The Absa Premiership champions are set to take on their La Liga counterparts in an international club friendly dubbed ‘champion vs champion’ in honour of the late Nelson Mandela, who would have been celebrating his 100th birthday this year.
Despite The Brazilians having shown their quality and potential to conquer Africa, Mosimane has conceded that the chances of beating the five-time European champions is slim, but says the match would still provide a good indication of the gap between African and European clubs.
“The Barca game is for the guys to get experience, and see what the difference in level is between us and Barca; PSL and La Liga; Africa and Europe,” he said.
“For me, personally, it’s also to see how far our tactics are in relation to Barca. Of course, we won’t stop Barca from playing – nobody stops Barca from playing.
“I mean, they scored two goals against Real Madrid [10 days ago]; they scored five last week Wednesday against Villareal and the week before [four against Deportivo].
“They score a goal every 13-14 minutes – and I’m talking about [against] Real Madrid hey, not Mamelodi Sundowns. So then you can’t have stress, you’re happy to play and see how long we can last before the first goal comes.”
Having established an identity for Sundowns over the last five-and-a-half years since his arrival, ‘Jingles’ also wants to see how effective they can be against a top European club, while still emphasising the fun element to the game.
“It’s not about beating Barca, or trying to match ourselves against Barca, it’s just to see our organisation – the way we defend, the way we attack, how far we are [from them],” Mosimane added.
“We have our own specimen – our software. We play our own way, I think you know. Even if you take the yellow jerseys and we put on black jerseys, you’ll say, ‘This team plays like Sundowns’.
“We’ve got our own way of playing, which we have mastered, and we don’t play and hope. When we sign players, we sign players that fit into the structure, even though sometimes it doesn’t happen the way we want.
“So, Barca is to see the difference perhaps between the Rand and the Euro. It’s just to have fun and enjoy, and see, if we play the Sundowns way, can Barca stop Sundowns in our attacking principles?
“It’s not about who will win, I think we know who will win – we expect Barca to win, to be honest. Not to say we don’t have confidence, but reality has to be there. If we win, it’ll be unbelievable.”
Kick-off of the clash at the FNB Stadium is scheduled for 18h15, with tickets reportedly sold out.