Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
There may have been no wars and no sneaky handballs. But for Argentines, the 'clasicó' against Brazil is more important than any game against England.
There has been little trouble between the fan groups, instead Argentina and Brazil are united by something else: actually being good at football.
This is a rivalry based on 'which team is the best in the world,' and a bit of local banter, but not bad blood.
Wednesday night's match is unlikely, however, to define the 'Best Team in the World (TM)' mainly because, well, they have been a bit rubbish recently.
Messi & co could only scrape a draw against Ecuador
As Argie Bargy documented yesterday, the team of stars (Messi, Aguero, Verón, Mascherano et all) were incredibly lucky to scrape a draw against Ecuador thanks to Palacio's goal in the last minute.
Meanwhile over the 'Bridge of Friendship' AKA 'The Bridge of drug dealing, terrorist hidings and cheap whiskey' at the frontier between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, Brazil's team has been a little... crap.
As fellow FourFourTwo blogger Celso de Campos Jr wrote a couple of days ago, Brazil's loss against Venezuela in a friendly was, and I quote, "pathetic."
Fortunately, they had a more important world cup qualifier game against Paraguay coming up to banish the memories of that surprise upset. And beating a team from a country that imports more whiskey than anywhere else in the world (but funnily enough doesn't consume that much... hmm) should have been a doddle, especially for Brazil.
But alas, no. Brazil lost. I mean lost 2-0. The Brazilian coach, increasingly aptly-named coach Dunga, told the press "We will certainly play a lot better against Argentina than we did against Paraguay. I know the personality of these players and the way they play."
Brazil have faired no better, losing to Venezuela and Paraguay
There was little posturing, though, from the Argentine national team manager Alfio Basile. Behind closed doors the team trained, in the hope they might actually look like a team come Wednesday night.
Verón, for Argie Bargy one of the best players on the pitch against Ecuador, is likely to be out through injury. Mascherano is also doubtful. But Argentines, with little to cheer about these days among mass protests on the freezing streets, will be hoping the team raise their game. For morale reasons alone, Argentina need a win. And against the Boys from Brazil there is nothing sweeter.
And as a reminder of some past clasicós have a gander at these YouTube clips:
1982 World Cup
Copa America 2007
And a token collection of female bottoms from the above game.
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