Brazil vs Argentina: A rivalry that is anything but 'friendly'

Brazil and Argentina will meet for the first time in more than a year, in Tuesday night's friendly in the Middle East.

Published : Oct 16, 2018 15:04 IST

Neymar in action for Brazil against Argentina during a FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifier.
Neymar in action for Brazil against Argentina during a FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifier.

Neymar in action for Brazil against Argentina during a FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifier.

Argentina and Brazil will renew their iconic, fierce rivalry when they face off in an international friendly in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday night.

This is one of the few warm-ups (of sorts) for these two teams before the 2019 edition of Copa America.

One of the titanic rivalries in world football, these South American giants haven't played each other in more than a year. Their last meeting was also a friendly, in which La Albiceleste beat the Selecao 1-0.

Speaking ahead of the fixture , Sergio Romero, said that the stature of Argentina and the fierce rivalry with Brazil mean it has to beat the five-time world champion.

“Every time Argentina play, we have to win. And when playing against Brazil, even in a friendly, we still have to win and play our way, which is what the coach is asking of us.”

Brazil coach, Tite, also shares a similar opinion as Romero. "Brazil versus Argentina is never a friendly. We hope to be better for that," he said.

Argentina has a huge task in its hands. Lionel Messi hasn't played any of its three fixtures post the disappointing World Cup campaign and will not feature against Brazil either. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) and Angel di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) are the other key players who are not a part of the squad to face Brazil.

Brazil, however, will almost play with a full-strength starting XI tonight, potentially with Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho, among others, featuring.

For Argentina coach, Lionel Scaloni, the clash against Brazil is easily the biggest he will be involved in since taking over from Jorge Sampaoli. Argentina has beaten Iraq (4-0) and Guatemala (3-0) in two of its post-World Cup matches so far, but only managed a draw in its biggest test to date, against Colombia.

Like Argentina, Brazil also faces its first big test since the World Cup exit, and playing their biggest rival might just bring the best out these titanic teams. 

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