Brazil versus Argentina is one of the greatest rivalries in football history. And this Saturday (Oct 11), the two nations will face each other once more during Brazil’s Global Tour.
What makes the upcoming game even more historic is that it marks the centenary of the first ever match between the two teams. On Sept 20, 1914, La Albiceleste defeated the Selecao 3-0 in a friendly in Buenos Aires. Just one week later, Brazil had its revenge - beating Argentina 1-0 in the same stadium to win the Roca Cup.
Since then, Brazil and Argentina has played a total of 95 games against each other. The record is close - Brazil has 35 wins, Argentina has 36, and 24 draws have played out.
Will Brazil equal Argentina’s win record this Saturday in the friendly match to be played in Beijing? You’ll have to watch the game on Starhub TV to find out.
Till then, let’s remember some of the greatest games ever played in the world’s biggest “derby” match.
Known forever as the "game of shame" among Brazilians, this was not a match marked by great skills or goals.
Rather, the game gained infamy due to what happened off the pitch. The home crowd in Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires continually hounded Brazil's Afro-Caribbean players with racist taunts, causing Brazil to eventually walk off the pitch.
There were reports of real fears for the players' security after the game; but in the end, everyone made it out of the grounds safely.
In a game now known as “The Battle of Rosario” - Argentina and Brazil played out a tense, and sometimes violent, goalless draw during their second game of group stage.
But it was what happened after this game that caught the most headlines. Argentina had beaten Poland 2-0 in their first group game, while Brazil had defeated Peru 3-0. Brazil thus had to play Poland next, while Argentina played Peru.
Conveniently, Argentina would play Peru after the Brazil-Poland game. When Brazil defeated Poland 3-1, Argentina knew they had to beat Peru by four goals to qualify for the next round. They did so easily, winning 6-0; eventually going on to win the whole tournament as well.
But some Brazilian fans still claim that Argentina and Peru had fixed their game. The rumours were compounded by the fact that the Peruvian goalkeeper, Roman Quiroga, was a naturalised Argentine.
Brazil’s 1982 World Cup team is still known today as the best team not to have won the tournament. Meanwhile Argentina were the defending champions and boasted the world’s most expensive player at that time, Diego Maradona.
Brazil dominated Argentina and could have scored more goals if not for some wasteful finishing. As for Diego Maradona, playing in his first World Cup, he was sent off for kicking Brazilian player João Batista in frustration of the imminent loss.
This was the last time that Argentina and Brazil have ever faced off in a World Cup match; and not only was the game exciting but controversial as well.
Diego Maradona was targeted by the Brazil’s defence at every opportunity, receiving many hard tackles throughout the game. He also reportedly carried a knee and ankle injury, yet he still made the difference in this game, as he ran past five defenders in the 80th minute before passing the ball to Claudio Cannigia to score.
After the game, Brazilian player Branco accused the Argentina training staff of giving him a bottle of water laced with tranquillisers. The scandal was forever known as the "holy water" incident.
Maradona on his part had only this to say: “I like the Brazilian way of life, I like them, but in football, I want to beat them to death.”
Argentina were within seconds of winning South America’s most prestigious football championship, when Brazilian striker Adriano suddenly did this:
The game went into extra time when Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar made two great saves from Andres D’Alessandro and Gabriel Heinze to win the cup for Brazil. Oh, did we mention that Brazil were missing many of their biggest stars, and were considered to be huge underdogs?
Once again, Brazil were the absolute underdogs in this game. Argentina went into the game as clear favourites after playing some of the best football ever in the tournament.
The starting line-ups were contrasting different.
For once, Brazil had no superstars: There were Doni, Maicon, Juan, Alex, Gilberto, Mineiro, Josué, Elano, Júlio Baptista, Robinho, Vágner Love . No disrespect, but none of these players really had great careers before or after the tournament.
Argentina’s line-up on the other hand looked like this: Roberto Abbondanzieri, Javier Zanetti, Gabriel Heinze, Roberto Ayala, Gabriel Milito, Juan Román Riquelme, Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Mascherano, Juan Sebastián Verón, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tévez
Still, the underdogs managed to score first through Julio Baptista in the 4th minute. Messi had a goal incorrectly disallowed for offside, but the final outcome of the match was never in danger.
Brazil may hold the record for the most number of World Cups won, but the team has never won the gold medal for the Olympic Games.
In 2008, the Brazilian team thought they had a chance to rewrite history. They had brought their superstar Ronaldinho to the tournament, but Argentina had other ideas.
The match was billed as a grudge game between Ronaldinho and the man who took his place at Barcelona, Lionel Messi. But it wasn’t just Messi who made the difference. Argentina also had a young Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria on their side. They won the game 3-0 with both Aguero and Di Maria scoring, while Juan Roman Riquelme also converted a penalty.
In 2012, Brazil learnt an important lesson in football: You can’t stop Lionel Messi.
Messi scored an amazing hat-trick on the day, with each goal simply better than the next. The game, despite a friendly, also tied as the second highest scoring game in Brazil-Argentina history.
Catch the epic battle between Brazil and Argentina on Starhub TV on SuperSports 2 Ch 202, this Saturday 11 Oct at 8pm! During their Global Tour, Brazil will also take on Japan, Turkey and Austria, click here to find out more information!
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