Image of a smiling Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

FC Barcelona has expressed its grief at the loss of Nelson Mandela, who played such a prominent role in the fight against Apartheid, and went on to become the first black president of South Africa. Mandela died last night in Johannesburg at the age of 95, and in tonight’s game against Cartagena, the Barça players will be wearing black armbands in memory of one of the greatest public figures of our time, and who set such a wonderful example not only with his leadership, but also with his compassion and forgiveness.

In the summer of 2007, when FC Barcelona were in South Africa for a friendly with the Mamelodi Sundowns, a club delegation made up of members of the board and several players visited Mandela at the headquarters of the Johannesburg based foundation that carries his name. In 1990, ‘Madiba’ was released from prison after 27 years in captivity, and went on to lead the country from 1994 to 1999.

The president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, and several players have expressed their sorrow in messages lamenting the loss of the charismatic African leader.

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