South Africa v Brazil to be marked by respects paid to Nelson MandelaParreira has paid tribute to the great leader
The two sides will go head to head in Johannesburg on Wednesday but the occasion will be poignant for reason other than football.
The fixture comes 20 years after Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president.
The Bafana Bafana will enter the pitch wearing t-shirts displaying Mandela’s now famous ‘prison number’ from his time in Robben Island: 46664.
Technical director of the Seleção, Carlos Alberto Parreira, paid homage to Madiba, whom he was fortunate enough to meet during his time in charge of the national team.
“I was privileged enough to be with Nelson Mandela on three occasions,” he said when speaking at a press conference on Monday.
“I have huge admiration for him. He was a symbol of the country and he unified South Africa.”
“It was great for everybody involved with the South African team to have met Mr Mandela. He was admired by everyone and we were privileged just be in the same room as him, let alone actually meet him.”
55,000 tickets have already been sold for the game.