Sundowns may have sailed smoothly to the 2017/18 PSL title but when it comes to the biggest challenge in their history, this is it. Pitso Mosimane’s men are set to take on arguably the number-one team in world soccer history, Barcelona, on Wednesday night at FNB Stadium.
However, the Brazilians have nothing to be shy about. Transfer Market values the club at a whopping R269 million, and Soccer Laduma has named them the PSL’s most valuable club for the season and among the richest on the continent.
So how do they tally up to a team with Lionel Messi who is personally worth R2,67 billion? We look at the two sides in their respective fields and glories.
Sundowns’ league title history. Masandawana has won the league 11 times across its various formats. They’ve won the PSL three times, the Castle Premiership twice and the PSL Castle League and NSL Castle League three times each.
The club has also won a whopping 17 cups since it was founded in 1970. These include five Telkom Charity Cups, three Telkom Knockouts, four Nedbank Cups, three MTN 8s, as well as one CAF Champions League and Super Cup each.
In less than 50 years Sundowns has won an extraordinary 29 trophies and was named the 1989 Castle club of the year, African club of the year and South African team of the year in 2016, as well as the PSL team of the season in 2013/14 and 2015/16.
The Catalan giants on the other hand are never short of glory. They’ve won the Spanish League 25 times in their 118-year history. Barcelona’s first league title came in 1929 – a massive 41 years before Sundowns was even founded.
Barca has won five Uefa Champions Leagues, three Fifa Club World Cups, as well as 30 Spanish Cups. Added to their cup list is 12 Spanish Super Cups and a variety of other smaller successes.
However, all must be put into perspective. Without a doubt Wednesday’s match features a clash between the best offerings of Africa and Europe. And despite being champions in PSL and La Liga respectively, neither team is invincible.
In their last five games Sundowns has drawn three, lost one and won one. While Barcelona has won three, drawn one and recently lost to Levante. Alas, with the world watching, bragging rights are certainly up for grabs!