Argentina vs. Brazil: Bitter Rivalry Puts Friendly Match on Different Level

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - MAY 30: Thiago Silva #3 of Brazil celebrates scoring a goal with teammate Sandro #5 against USA during an International friendly game at FedExField on May 30, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

There is nothing friendly about Argentina and Brazil playing on the same pitch. No matter the occasion, no matter the age, no matter their standing in world rankings (which is almost always pretty high anyway), these footballing nations simply hate each other.

Brazil despises losing in general, but a loss to Argentina is unthinkable. And much of the same goes for Argentina.

These two South American countries, who do slightly border each other in the very South of Brazil, have played 92 international competitions. Wouldn't you know that Brazil has won 34 times and Argentina, well, they've also won 34 times—they've played to 24 draws.

It literally doesn't get closer than that.

The rivalry resumes this weekend in the United States at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Although only a friendly, the American fans snatched up every ticket possible and the expectations surrounding this not-so-friendly showdown are sky high.

The world's best player, Lionel Messi, is expected to be on hand, and although he's struggled to make the same impact in international competition as he does club play, he's still a handful.

This also a huge benchmark game for both squads. The Brazilians aren't the same power we're accustomed to seeing. They're young and talented, but they're far from that dominant force. After thrashing the US 4-1, the Selection uncharacteristically dropped a friendly tune-up against Mexico. While not at full strength, the loss brought about a few concerns.

Argentina, meanwhile, dismantled Ecuador last time out, but want to prove something ahead of World Cup qualifiers.

While no Argentina-Brazil friendly is ever just a friendly, this match has plenty of intrigue.

But chief among it all is simply the rivalry between these two nations. Expect some fireworks in this one.


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