Sundowns goalkeeper rooting for Lionel Messi to shine brightest at Qatar World Cup

Barcelonas Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi and Tiyani Mabunda of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Barcelonas Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi and Tiyani Mabunda of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Lefty Shivambu

Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Reyaaad Pieterse is backing Argentine superstar and captain Lionel Messi to shine at the Qatar World Cup.

The global showpiece kicked off on Sunday with Ecuador sealing a 2-0 opening win over the hosts in a group A clash at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

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African representatives Senegal are set to face the Netherlands on Monday in another match in Group A.

Despite rooting for Messi, Pieterse believes Brazil will win the World Cup trophy.

"There are a lot of good teams. I still feel like an African team can do well during this World Cup tournament, but to be honest, my money is on Brazil.

"I just feel the conditions would favour them, the strength and the depth in the team are really good, and for me, they are the favourites," Pieterse tells KickOff.

"I love Manuel Neuer, but I think Messi is going to make a big statement at this World Cup."

Meanwhile, Pieterse joined several youngsters that converged at the Menlyn Mall in Pretoria on Saturday for the Mamelodi Sundowns FIFA23 Championship tournament.

"This is a great initiative that Mamelodi Sundowns have started and being part of the FIFA 23.

"It's good to see the club being part of and helping grow eSport in the country. The sport played a big role to keep people occupied during the Covid.

"It's a great initiative to bring people together. It's good for us as Mamelodi Sundowns and myself as Reyaad to be part of it.

"This is part of the field and industry I am occupied with when I am off the field.

"I know Lebohang Manyama and Jammie Webber are very good players in this sport."

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