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Argentina and Brazil meet again this Friday in a friendly match that will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The great attraction of the meeting will be the return of Lionel Messi with the ‘albiceleste’ after the ban imposed by FIFA on the Barcelona star at the end of the Copa America, and he will most likely occupy a place in the starting lineup. On the Brazilian side, the absence of Neymar stands out, although the current continental champion has enough weapons to replace the PSG man.
It will be the first game between the South American giants since Brazil defeated Argentina 2-0 in the semifinals of the Copa America that took place last June. After that match, the ‘canarinha’ went on to win the tournament after beating Peru 3-1 in the final, although since then the path for both teams have been the opposite. Since they lifted the trophy in Maracana, Brazil he has not been able to win in their last four games, losing 1-0 to Peru in September, while Argentina has closed the ban period of their top star without losing a match, with a draw in Germany and great wins against Mexico (4-0) and Ecuador (6-1) as highlights.
Messi is ready to make his first international appearance since he was sent off in the match for third place in the Copa America against Chile in July. The 32-year-old forward received a three-month ban for accusing the organizers of corruption, although the Barça star only missed friendly matches and returns at the right time to face Brazil and Uruguay. Another one who returns is Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero, who together with Inter’s Lautaro Martinez could form a great forward line accompanied by Messi.
For its part, Brazil has not found its best form after lifting the continental trophy, although its coach Tite took the opportunity to try different players during this time. In the last squad there are also news beyond the absence of Neymar due to injury, since Rodrygo -the young Real Madrid winger- will try to transfer the great moment he lives in his team to his first call with the Brazilian national team, just like Aston Villa’s midfielder Douglas Luiz.
Neymar hasn't played again since he was injured in Brazil's 1-1 draw with Nigeria on October, but Tite has enough players to replace him, such as Firmino, Coutinho or Gabriel Jesus, who also plays again with Brazil after the two-month ban for his excessive reaction after being sent off in the final of the Copa America. "It's always good to play a match of this magnitude: Brazil-Argentina is the best classic in world football," said the Manchester City striker. For his part, the 'verdeamarela' manager also referred to the great match of South America: "It is a great classic. The game of the Copa America did not have a dazzling technical level, since the emotional aspect was very strong. We know the level of Argentina and we want to make a great match. It is a special game in the history of international football. The name itself says that it is a ‘Superclasico’. It is different to any other match," said Tite.
#SeleçãoBrasileira realizou hoje seu último treino antes duelo de amanhã. Vai ter Brasil x Argentina!!#JogaBola #GigantesPorNatureza— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) November 14, 2019
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Fotos: @lucasfigfoto / CBF pic.twitter.com/xGa8Mgr7lO
Both teams will play a second friendly in the coming days, and while Argentina will face Uruguay in Tel Aviv on Monday - although the game could be canceled due to fighting in Israel - Brazil will play against South Korea in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, in what will be the last matches for both countries before the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup begin in March.
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