So the Euro’s are on but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t other football being played around the world and two days ago saw Brazil face fierce rivals Argentina in a “friendly” match, and if you didn’t hear Brazil lost 4-3 to Argentina with the world’s greatest player Lionel Messi showing the young pretender Neymar how it is done by scoring a magnificent hat-trick, leaving the best goal till last.
Brazil coach Mano Menezes called up a young 22-man squad for a series of friendlies with Argentina being the last game out of four. Only five players were over the age of 23 which is a huge testament to the wealth of talent that Brazil have at their disposal along with a completely different way to handling friendly games compared to England.
Brazil still could boast a front three of the much chased Hulk, the wanted Leandro Damião and the highly promising Neymar with Alexandre Pato on the bench. Brazil had Santos’s Rafael was in goal while in defence was Real Madrid’s Marcelo, Manchester United’s Rafael, Inter Milan’s Juan and São Paulo’s Bruno Uvini Bortolanca. In midfield Brazil had Tottenham’s Sandro, Internacional’s Oscar and Vasco da Gama’s Rômulo with Porto’s Hulk, Santos’s Neymar and Internacional’s Leandro Damião while Argentina had a full strength squad.
Brazil took the lead on the 23rd minute through midfielder Rômulo when he ran onto a free kick. He looked offside but the Argentina defence was slow to react. Messi scored on the 32nd to pull it level to 1-1 when ran onto Higuain’s through ball and coolly slotted it past Rafael and then minutes later he gave Argentina the lead when he latched onto Di Maria’s through ball, rounding the keeper and then put it in the back of the net. The first half finished with Argentina leading 2-1 but 11 minutes into the second half Brazil levelled the game thanks to Oscar when he played a nice one-two with Leandro Damião touched it forward and then knocked it over the ‘keeper. Brazil again took the lead when made it 3-2 scoring a nice volley with his left thanks only to the Argentine ‘keeper Romano when he flapped at catching the corner kick on the 71st minute. The dancing, singing and celebrations didn’t last long for the home fans thought when Argentine equalised from a corner of their own with Vélez Sársfield’s Augusto Fernández scoring with a header that went off the post. Messi won the game for Argentina with a solo goal that was truly something special. Messi picked up the ball on the right flank just past his own half beating Marcelo and the cuts inside running towards Brazil’s penalty box cuts left again and now just outside of the D scores a left footed beauty into the top corner.
Though this game was only a friendly and was a full strength Argentina against a youthful Brazil this will have all those people saying that Neymar is as good as Messi having to have a slight rethink. Messi showed the young pretender first hand just what he has to live up to!
If you can take the humorously biased Brazilian commentary, you will see what I mean when they score, then have a watch. If you feel you can’t take the commentary then either mute or go to the last goal and watch Messi’s magnificent solo goal! Believe it is a great goal.