BUENOS AIRES - Argentina will look to end
a run of five matches without beating Brazil when South
America's big two renew their rivalry in a friendly in Qatar on
The Argentines last beat Brazil 3-1 in a World Cup
qualifier in Buenos Aires in June 2005, since when they have
lost four and drawn one conceding 13 goals and scoring a mere
But coach Sergio Batista will look at a different
statistic, no doubt, his Olympic team's emphatic 3-0 victory
over Brazil in the 2008 Beijing Games semi-finals.
Former Barcelona team mates Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho
will meet again in Doha having faced each other at the Olympic
Games where the Argentine ace inspired Batista's team to the
Ronaldinho, overlooked by Brazil's 2010 World Cup coach
Dunga, has been recalled by Mano Menezes who has overseen three
friendly wins since he was handed the task of preparing his
country's team to host the 2014 finals.
Menezes said recently Argentina were better prepared for
the match since he was carrying out a major overhaul in
personnel and tactics with Brazil whereas Argentina were not
much changed from the World Cup side coached by Diego Maradona.
Batista would differ with the later part of Menezes's
opinion since he has sought better balance to an Argentina side
crushed 4-0 by Germany in their World Cup quarter-final in
Johannesburg in July.
The 1986 World Cup-winning former midfielder has recalled
Javier Zanetti in order to play with full backs rather than
converted central defenders and added more company for Javier
Mascherano in midfield with the likes of Esteban Cambiasso and
However, Cambiasso is out injured as are two of his
centre-backs, Walter Samuel and Gabriel Milito and strikers
Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero. He has recalled Porto central
defender Nicolas Otamendi, one of the makeshift fullbacks who
floundered under Maradona.
Menezes's defence will face their sternest test yet against
the likes of Mess and Gonzalo Higuain after their clean sheets
in friendly wins against the United States, Iran and Ukraine.
Injury has also deprived him of two of his new young guard,
striker Alexandre Pato and midfielder Paulo Henrique Ganso, so
much will be expected from a new partnership of the experienced
Ronaldinho and 18-year-old Santos striker Neymar.
Batista, in three matches as interim coasch before being
confirmed this month, oversaw wins against Ireland and world
champions Spain before his side lost 1-0 away to Japan last
Argentina - Sergio Romero; Javier Zanetti, Martin
Demichelis, Nicolas Burdisso, Gabriel Heinze; Ever Banega,
Javier Mascherano, Javier Pastore, Angel Di Maria; Lionel
Messi, Gonzalo Higuain
Brazil - Victor; Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz,
Andre Santos; Ramires, Lucas, Elias, Ronaldinho; Robinho,
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