Lionel Messi’s Argentina made history by handing Brazil their first ever home defeat 1-0 in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday, but the pre-match clashes in the stands drew more attention.
In fact, the “superclasico” was almost 30 minutes late, since the fans of Argentina and Brazil had problems in the stands of the legendary Maracana. The police present at the scene tried to appease the ghosts by force, which caused some rather disturbing images.
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The current world champions, accompanied by captain “Seleça” Marquinhos, approached the area where the violence took place. The goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez even tried to intervene in the defense of his team.
Moreover, Messi explained that this is not the first time such incidents have occurred. However, he and his teammates preferred to play the game to calm tensions.
“We saw the police trying to hit people, especially with several of our families,” said the current Inter Miami player after the game, whose comments were reported by journalist Fabrizio Romano. They are more focused on that than playing the game.
But the tension on the pitch between the 22 players still seemed high when the referee blew the whistle to kick-off. We were noticeably treated to some pretty heated moments during the opening minutes of the clash between the two countries. As many as 10 Brazilian fouls were recorded against three Argentines, and the match was only 20 minutes old. Even the Brazilian forward Joelinton was given a red card at the end of the game.
Messi even took the liberty to have a few words with striker Rodrygo. The latter would call the teammates of the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner “cowards”.
The only goal of the match was scored by defender Nicolás Otamendi with a header after Giovanni Lo Celso scored from a corner in the 63rd minute of the game. Argentina leads the CONMEBOL qualifying group, while Brazil is sixth.