The Gods of Football have given us a genuine rivalry in the semi-finals of the Copa America which will take place on 3 July 2019 between Brazil and Argentina.
History of Brazil vs Argentina
These two teams have faced each other for over 100 years and managed to reach 12 World Cup finals combined, winning a total of 7. They have also produced three unquestionable GOAT players, including Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, and Pele, spawning loads of sociological treaties surrounding the importance of football when it comes to their national psyches and has often been considered the yin to each other’s yang.
In a total of 105 meetings between these two teams, Brazil has taken 41 victories, while Argentina have won 38 matches and there’s only 26 draws between them. If you exclude friendlies from this equation, Argentina currently has the lead with 18 against 17.
However, there hasn’t been loads of encounters that were deemed friendly between these two teams; from the 1925 pitch invasions to the 1937 incident when Brazil walked off. In 1939 when Argentina walked off allowing Brazil to score a winning penalty with no goalkeeper and 1946 when police invaded the pitch to stop a fight. During 1978 when the Battle of Rosario occurred, to the 1982 World Cup when Maradona made a horror tackle, to the 1990 holy water controversy, to the 1991 Copa America when 5 players were sent off, to the 1995 hand of the devil goal by Tulio, this rivalry is bursting at the seams with controversy.
The last time these two teams played against each other in Copa America was during the final of the tournament in 2007. Now, twelve years later, you can still find two football players on the field, including Dani Alves who managed to score in a 3-0 Brazil victory, and Lionel Messi who was only 20 years old at the time.
Copa America Semi-Finals
Some believe that the clash between Brazil and Argentina this time around will be completely different since most of the players on the pitch are teammates when it comes to their day jobs. Philippe Coutinho is with Lionel Messi at Barcelona, while Gabriel Jesus is with Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi at Manchester City. Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes share a dressing room with Brazil’s Marquinhos, while Dani Alves and Thiago Silva do the same at Paris-Saint Germain. You can also find Alex Sandro and Paulo Dybala together at Juventus.
The fact is, commercialization, globalization, and cold hard cash, has managed to transform these players into friends, but there’s no denying that this game is going to be completely different. This is on an international level, and each player will be playing for their country.
Brazil is still trying to forget about the 7-1 upset against Germany at the stadium where they will be playing against Argentina, while the White and Sky-Blue team haven’t claimed a major trophy in more than two decades.