The world champions Argentina, led by their talismanic captain Lionel Messi, traveled to Rio de Janeiro to face arch-rivals Brazil in a CONMEBOL World Cup qualification match, following their first defeat since the World Cup glory in Qatar the previous year.
A classic Brazil-Argentina rivalry clash witnessed bizarre events in the stands when fans from both sets were involved in a fierce brawl leading to a delay in the fixture. Amidst this, Lionel Messi and his teammates were also involved in a verbal confrontation with Real Madrid star Rodrygo.
What did Rodrygo say to Lionel Messi?
The most-awaited fixture in the South American World Cup qualifiers between two titans of the game, Argentina and Brazil, descended into chaos even before kicking off. A set of fans got into an altercation in the stands of Maracana Stadium.
Prior to kick-off, the match was pushed to a half-hour delay following incidents that involved local police bringing things under control in the stands. Lionel Messi and his team jumped off the fence and approached the stands to assess the situation.
The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner and captain, Messi, led his squad back to the dressing room to wait for things to settle on the pitch. However, the Brazilian team chose to stay on the field. Upon their return to the field, De Paul and Rodrygo were seen exchanging words.
Messi rushed to the scene to support his teammate and eventually got himself engaged in exchanging heated arguments with Brazil’s Real Madrid player. Reportedly, Rodrigo labeled the Argentina players as ‘cowards,’ to which Messi hit back with a response, saying, ‘We are the world champions, why are we cowards? Watch your mouth.'”
Argentinians created history by beating Brazil
On their last visit to Maracana, Argentina made history by lifting the Copa America in Rio de Janeiro in 2021. Returning after winning the world title in Qatar last year, the reigning champions resumed their journey to defend the title against Brazil in the CONMEBOL qualifiers on Tuesday.
For the visitors, Nicholas Otamendi scored the goal to help his team secure a slender 1-0 win. The goal, a header from the Benfica defender in the second half, marked a historic victory over Brazil and registered Brazil’s first-ever home loss in the history of World Cup qualifiers. As Argentina clung to their position at the top of the table, the Brazilians slid down to the sixth spot.
Do you think Messi’s angry reaction to Rodrygo was justified? Do let us know in the comments section.