After the unexpected defeat to Uruguay at the Bombonera last Thursday, Argentina faced a setback it hadn’t experienced since the beginning of the 2022 World Cup, where it was surprised by Saudi Arabia. The team had maintained an undefeated streak since then, boosting the confidence of the world champions. Faced with the home defeat, the focus now is on recovery, especially against the arch-rival Brazil at the Maracanã next Tuesday.
Lionel Messi, the number 10 and captain of the team, shared his disappointment over the home loss to Uruguay, an unprecedented event in the qualifiers. He encouraged his teammates ahead of the classic, highlighting Marcelo Bielsa’s influence on the Uruguayan team.
“You can see Bielsa’s hand on the team. They have a solid team and play well. We can lose, that could happen. We need to bounce back and have a good game in Brazil. The match against Brazil is unique, full of history. We must rise, always respecting what they represent,” commented Messi.
Midfielder Rodrigo de Paul also expressed regret over the defeat, indicating that Argentina couldn’t maintain its recent good performance in front of the home crowd. He recalled a “beautiful memory” from their last visit to the Maracanã during the 2021 Copa America.
“We must rise and have a great game in Brazil. We need to preserve what we have achieved and the respect we have gained. The pain is there because we couldn’t offer a good game to the people and secure a victory. Now, we face a different game, a classic. We have an incredible memory of the Maracanã, but we know it will be a tough challenge,” said the midfielder.
Despite the loss, Argentina continues to lead the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup with 12 points. Meanwhile, Brazil sits in fifth place with seven points after two consecutive defeats, facing Colombia. The teams will clash at the Maracanã on Tuesday
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