Mamelodi Sundowns president, Patrice Motsepe paid Spanish powerhouses Barcelona 3-million Euros (almost R45-million) to make the one-day trip to South Africa to play against Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Wednesday night‚ it has emerged.
This figure was revealed by the Spanish press and they reported that it is outside the costs for the chartered plane that left Barcelona on Tuesday night with business class seating for the 21 players and the rest of the staff.
The cost of the trip to SA had been the subject of furious speculation for days and some reports suggested that Motsepe paid around R105m to convince Barcelona to come to SA.
Local media had claimed Motsepe paid Barcelona a whopping R100 million for them to come to South Africa for a second time, but Mundo Deportivo, a publication close to the Spanish club, believe it was less than half that amount.
They claim Motsepe paid about €3 million (R44.5 million) for the game, and that it was arranged with the help of former Blaugrana player Jose Edmilson. The retired Brazilian, who made 96 appearances under Frank Rijkaard for the Camp Nou club, is the official ambassador for Barcelona’s soccer schools around the world and reportedly a close friend of Motsepe’s.
The report also stated that the initial proposal was for Barcelona to face Masandawana after the current campaign during their off-season, but this would have clashed with Barca’s planned tour of the US.
As a consequence and after Barcelona were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-final stage, both sides agreed for the game.