Argentina vs. Brazil: 10 Great Moments from Down the Years

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IOctober 9, 2014

Argentina vs. Brazil: 10 Great Moments from Down the Years

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Given the quality of players both Brazil and Argentina have possessed over the years, it is unsurprising that the nations' rivalry has produced some stunning encounters that live long in the memory.

    Other clashes, meanwhile, have been more memorable for the behaviour of those involved than the football itself. The Superclasico de las Americas is, after all, a super-charged affair in terms of passion and emotions.

    With the two sides set to meet in Beijing on Saturday, it is a great opportunity to take a look back at some of the best moments of their clashes from years gone by.

    Which moments, though, make our Top 10?

1939: Fair Play, Who Cares?

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    At 2-2 late in the game, a dubious penalty was awarded to Brazil that resulted in Argentina leaving the pitch after player Arcadia Lopez was ejected by a combination of the referee and police for his protests.

    With no opponents left on the pitch, Brazil did the only thing they know how and carried on playing, scoring into an empty net.

    There can't be few victories more hollow.

1970: Pele Sets the Bar for Superclasico Goals

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    Poor Agustin Cejas in the Argentina net had no chance, such was the quality and disguise of Pele's wonderfully executed chip in this clash from 1970.

    As far as best goals in the clashes between the two sides go, it is certainly right up there alongside later efforts from the likes of Claudio Caniggia, Kaka and Lionel Messi.

    Pele may have been on the wane in 1970, but this goal (among others) demonstrates his skill remained undiminished.

1982: Bye Bye Diego

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    One match Brazilian supporters are certainly keen to see remembered is their side's 3-1 success at the 1982 World Cup, most famous for a red card shown to a certain Diego Maradona.

    The Argentine may not have produced his '86 magic yet but was already a leading star of the game and let himself down with a savage kick out at Joao Batista.

    Brazil's great side would fail to earn the World Cup befitting their talents at the competition.

1990: Caniggia Breaks Brazilian Hearts

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    A goal so famous it formed the basis of Argentina fans' omnipresent chant at this summer's World Cup, Claudio Caniggia struck in the 80th minute of the sides' Italia '90 clash to send Brazil packing in the round of 16.

    Made by the magic of Diego Maradona and converted with sublime calm by Caniggia, it is a goal of great quality made all the better by the context of the encounter.

    Of all the defining moments in such clashes, it is a goal that will forever rank high among the best.

1991: The Battle of Santiago

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    A thoroughly entertaining game in the Copa America that included a goal from a fresh-faced Gabriel Batistuta and a long-range stunner from left-back Branco, Argentina's 3-2 success was marred by the five red cards shown in a violent encounter.

    As the video above shows, although focusing mainly on the positive football being played, there were plenty of off-the-ball incidents—and none of them were particularly pleasant.

    Judged by the rules of today, five red cards seems lenient.

1995: Tulio Maravilha's 'Hand of the Devil'

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    Argentina were famous beneficiaries of a deliberate handball at the 1986 World Cup. However, at the quarter-final stage of the 1995 Copa America, they were handed their comeuppance.

    Tulio Maravilha may have become a wanderer in his later years, but he was a fine goalscorer in his day. His finish is excellent on this occasion too, but his first touch was a blatant handball that was somehow missed by the referee on the night.

    The game finished 2-2 and Brazil won on penalties, once more proving that cheats can and do prosper.

1998: Claudio Lopez Tames the Maracana

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    Argentina's most recent win on Brazilian soil came in 1998 thanks to a moment of individual excellence from former Valencia star Claudio Lopez.

    Picking the ball up on the left, Lopez made a fool of centre-back Junior Baiano before hammering a shot into the roof of the net past the helpless Claudio Taffarel.

    The goal earned Lopez applause from the home crowd in the Maracana—some achievement, given the long-standing animosity between the nations.

2005: The Rise of an Empire

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    There was a time when Adriano was a feared force in football and dubbed the "next Ronaldo" in countless articles at the time due to his goalscoring prowess and the physical similarities between the two.

    The 2005 Confederations Cup final was the height of his career with Brazil, and he scored twice in a 4-1 victory over Argentina and looked every bit a great No. 9.

    Sadly, it was a rare event rather than the launchpad for another great striking career.

2006: Kaka Leaves His Rivals for Dead

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    As great Brazil vs. Argentina goals go, Kaka's effort from a friendly at the Emirates Stadium in 2006 takes some beating.

    Scored at the peak of his powers, the goal encapsulates everything that was so good about the play of the Milan favourite at the time: speed, power, precision and incredible elegance all in one golden footballer.

    Even lightning-fast dribbler Lionel Messi was unable to keep pace, such was the speed of the Brazilian star's charge forward.

2012: Messi Superclasico Hat-Trick

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The last time the two sides met with full-strength squads at their disposal, Lionel Messi scored a sublime hat-trick as Argentina overcame their rivals 4-3.

    The game was notable for Brazil coach Mano Menezes's decision to use those of the right age for the London Olympics that same year, with the influx of youth actually improving performances under his management.

    Sadly, though, Messi was too good for the Selecao in the American summer sun.