Argentina vs Brazil (It doesn't get any bigger than this)

Let's stop for a minute here! ... Let's stop for a minute and let's talk about futbol (or if you really preffer it, "Soccer")

A few weeks ago some friends from the US got tickets for a super clasico in the world of futbol: Argentina vs Brazil. They asked me if it was worth it to flight to Argentina just to watch the game.

My answer: YES!

I am not a futbol savvy (at all) but I did have the chance to attend a match in 2003. I went with my friend Chris Gaffney, who was doing then some research for a book (Which University of texas just published --and let me tell ya, that book deserves a whole new post) Anyway, we got press-passes so our seats were awesomely located in the press-booths where one could see everything. That was (and it still is) one of the craziest things I've ever witnessed in my life.

But it doesn't take a super fan to realize that any 'Argentina vs Brazil' match is worth a trip. Tickets are sold out months before the matches are held, prices can get to astronomical numbers, and the tension between those two teams has a long history.

Argentina vs Brazil (2009)

It doesn't get any bigger than this, as Argentina meet arch-rivals Brazil in a decisive 2010 World Cup qualifier that is likely to determine the fates of both teams. Argentina in particular will be pressured to claim maximum points because anything less could lead to World Cup elimination.

Kick-Off: Saturday, 5 September 2009, 20:30 ET,
Gigante de Arroyito stadium, Rosario, Argentina

It's Now Or Never For Argentina

Argentina have struggled a great deal during the World Cup qualifiers and will be forced to beat their fierce rivals in order to stay on track. With only a handful of matches left in the qualifying campaign the Argentines can't afford to drop any points against the Brazilians.

Being up against their greatest rivals, who incidentally have gotten the better of them in recent outing, means Argentina have to be at their very best in order to obtain the desired result.

Since the appointment of Diego Maradona(*) as head coach last year Argentina haven't managed to find an effective game-plan and this explains clear defeats to Ecuador and Bolivia earlier in the year.

The 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Bolivians! last April was perhaps the most humiliating moment in Argentine football history, and a result that will never be forgotten.

As well as this, there are so many factors that add extra pressure on Maradona(*) and his squad. The superclasico is always a game apart in itself, but the fact that World Cup spots are at stake adds even more spice to the encounter.

In order to gain a greater advantage over their opponents the match was shifted from the Monumental stadium of Buenos Aires to the Gigante de Arroyito stadium of Rosario. Maradona & co. believe that playing in Rosario will give them the edge, as fans from the region are known for being some of the most passionate in the country.

The fact that it is a smaller and more compact stadium means extremely hostile conditions await the Brazilians [Argentina were held to a violent goalless draw by Brazil at the venue in the 1978 World Cup].

But Argentina can't solely rely on the enthusiasm of their fans, but will need to play great football in order to overcome their opponents. Argentina have only won one of their last seven matches against the Brazilians, and this has included three heavy defeats, the last being in the final of the Copa America of Venezuela in 2007.

Despite their poor record, Argentina count with an abundance of talent, and if they manage to gel they could give the Brazilians a run for their money. If a combination of Argentina's best players are on top of their game, such as Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Juan Sebastian Veron and Javier Mascherano, the Argentines could be extremely dangerous. But until now, and when under the directions of Maradona (*), they have left a lot to be desired.

Argentina will need to pick up their game, because a negative result could see them miss out on the World Cup for the first time since 1970.

Word War
One factor that Brazil will have to overcome is provocation from the eager Argentines. Earlier in the week Brazil captain Lucio claimed that Argentina will try every trick in the book to gain an advantage during the game, but that Brazil have to stick to their game plan at all moments and not allow the Argentines to get too comfortable. Leading up to the big game lots has been said, with both teams exchanging their opinions, often to one another.

While Maradona(*) claimed that he was "a better player than Pele was" and that "Argentina have better players than Brazil", Pele responded by saying "I'm confident in Brazil, most of all against teams who we have always been superior to, like Argentina" and "we already know who Maradona is...what he says isn't worth taking into consideration." The war of words indicates the kind of passion that can be expected on the field on Saturday night.

So ladies and gentlemen, pick a side, pick your colors, and make your bets.

Photo Gallery Zoom

(*)Despite most Argentines seem to adore Diego Maradona and all what he represents, I dislike him with passion. I don't hate him particularly, but yes his public image and all what he represent to the general public.

(**) For me tho it always was and it always will be hard to hate Brazil... I don't really know why: Any ideas?

Info & article partially retrieved from

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