Brazil-Argentina, anything goes

Yesterday evening, the two giants of South American football had an appointment in São Paulo for the shock of the sixth day, late, of the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in the South America zone. A shock between Lionel Messi and Neymar which promised to be tasty. Unfortunately, football fans were quickly deprived of a show. The fault of an employee of the Brazilian health agency (Anvisa) who came to the field to interrupt the match and demand the immediate expulsion of four Argentinian players playing in the Premier League (Giovani Lo Celso, Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia and Cristian Romero) accused for lying and breaking Brazilian health regulations.

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An unacceptable event for the Argentines and for Tite (the Brazilian coach) who wonder why Anvisa waited until the match started to intervene and why they did not act well before, while the Abiceleste players had been in Brazil for several days. For the Argentines, the conspiracy theory is not far off, especially vis-à-vis a rival country ruled by the controversial Jair Bolsonaro. Will we know the end of the story? One thing is certain, this event is added to the long list of crisp anecdotes that have made the history of this extraordinary Clasico. A duel that had recently turned in favor of the Argentines following the triumph of Messi’s gang on Brazilian soil, in the final of the Copa América.

Inflicting a humiliating defeat on the rival is a sentiment that every game loves to savor. And sometimes even if the two countries do not clash. It is enough to listen to the former defender Oscar Ruggeri about the Brazilian elimination in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup to realize it. “I saw them cry and for me it was a huge satisfaction. A joy to see them cry and to see them eliminated from the World Cup. The truth is, I will never forget these feelings ”. The opportunity was therefore found to remind you of a few more or less classy passes between the two South American giants.

XXL rivalry

  • 1928: the exact date of the match remains uncertain, but the site Garrafootball teaches us that there are also problems of racism between these two nations. Indeed, while the Brazilians disembarked in Buenos Aires to play a friendly match, a newspaper published a cartoon in which it was written: « Monkeys in Buenos Aires », in reference to four black players from the Auriverde team. These four elements have also refused to take part in the match. In reaction, the Argentine formation agreed to play with four players less.

  • January 1937: the Copa América, formerly called Campeonato Sudamericano, is organized in Argentina. And once again, Brazilians face “special treatment” from the Argentine public. Mocked, nicknamed the « monkeys », the Auriverdes still manage to compete in the title match. Tied in the standings, the two teams must play well. 0-0 at the end of regulation time. The Argentines will win 2-0, but the Brazilians tried to leave the field because of the attitude of the public. Besides the racist cries, the Argentinian supporters even went so far as to ask the players if the telephone (invented in 1876 by Graham Bell) existed in Rio de Janeiro.

  • April 4, 1959: Copa América final at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires. At the time, the competition was played in the form of a championship. The last match therefore pitted the Albiceleste, who had 10 points, against the Auriverdes, who had 9. The Argentines opened the scoring just before the break thanks to Pizzuti. After the locker room, Pelé put the two teams tied on the hour mark. And then it was the tragedy for the Brazilians. On a set piece aimed at Garrincha, the latter manages to dribble the opposing goalkeeper, mounted very high. But when he had eliminated the Argentine goalkeeper and all that remained was to shoot to put the ball into the empty goal (he was still in the middle of the field), Garrincha saw the Chilean referee of the match give the final whistle. Argentina was champion.

  • June 3, 1964: before the triumph of Messi’s gang in the last Copa América final, this date was a major event in Argentina. Indeed, the Albiceleste had not beaten its neighbor Auriverde in official competition since June 3, 1964, that is to say 57 years or 20,885 days. A 3-0 victory at the time which had also made people talk. The players in the meeting were unaware that this was the start of a very long Brazilian unbeaten streak, but the rivalry was more present than ever. That day, the reigning double Brazilian world champion lost and his star, King Pelé, sadly appeared in front of the 65,000 people at the stadium. 22-year-old defender José Agustin Mesiano was in charge of scoring Pelé. And he remembered it for a long time. He has indeed received a terrible head butt from the Brazilian. Result: fractured nasal septum and Mesiano ended up knocked out.

  • June 18, 1978: Argentina was organizing its World Cup in a difficult context since the country is in the hands of General Jorge Videla. Albiceleste are under pressure: they have to win the World Cup, no matter what. In the second round, they find Brazil for a match that will be known as the Battle of Rosario. A meeting before which the Brazilian bus was stuck on its way to the stadium. The following ? A rotten encounter with repeated blows (59 free kicks!). To validate his ticket for the final, Argentina then faced Peru (6-0), a match over which hovers great suspicion.

  • June 24, 1990: round of 16 of the Italian World Cup at Studio delle Alpi. Until 2005 and this famous interview with Diego Maradona, the controversy had subsided. It all started with a fault committed on the Argentinian Troglio. It remains on the ground and the albiceleste staff then land on the lawn. At this moment, a certain Maradona takes one of the water cans brought by his staff and gives it to the Brazilian Branco. The controversy was born. Argentina will win 1-0 and go on to the final. The Auriverdes, for their part, accused their rivals of having put sleeping pills in this famous “Branco can”. Former captain of the Argentine selection, Carlos Bilardo has, several years later, contributed to maintaining the doubt. “I don’t know, I don’t know. But I’m not saying it didn’t happen… ” Branco, meanwhile, remembers being greatly disturbed after drinking from this can. “The water tasted weird. I had hallucinations, my head was spinning. I had a lot of trouble playing normally afterwards. « 

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