However, the technical team felt it was important for Messi to participate in the match, probably because of the huge support the 30-year-old enjoys in South Africa.
Having eased past the Brazilians 3-1 in front of a packed FNB Stadium, Valverde though doesn't think that his team had it easy against the South African champions.
The Spanish champions then doubled their lead in the 20th minute when Denis Suarez fed his namesake, Luis Suarez, who made no mistake when one-on-one with Denis Onyango.
The Sundowns are now top of the South African Premier Soccer League. Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to be switched on to keep out Percy Tau and Hlompho Kekana.
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On top of the pension payments, he is also entitled to continue to receive health insurance benefits from the BSO. The newspaper has reported that Peterson's personnel file was filled with commendations.
While young players Carles Alena, Ruiz de Galarreta and Jorge Cuenca have also been included in the Barca squad, injured defenders Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermilion have been dropped from the touring side.
Barca's stay on the continent will only be a brief one with one last league game calling them against Real Sociedad as they look to close out their season in style at the Nou Camp on Sunday. Gomes added the third in the 66th.
Sundowns managed to pull a goal back through Sibusiso Vilakazi in the 76th minute.