Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 05:07:15 PM
FIFA World Cup 2018

Brazil or Argentina?

Saleque Sufi | banglanews24.com
Update: 2018-06-12 11:29:13 PM
Brazil or Argentina?
Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr (File photo: collected)

Like the rest of the developing world soccer craze has gripped Bangladesh. Other countries like Germany, Spain, France, and Portugal may have marginal supports but Bangladeshis are sharply divided in two camps all time favorite Brazil and younger generations craze Argentina. 

You are Brazil or Argentina must be a popular introductory dialogue everywhere.  It would be an interesting reading past proven records and present strength of the two traditional constants as both are tipped as favorites. If things pan out appropriately there are chances of Brazil meeting Argentina in Semi Final. Before getting into business session let us see their position side by side. Let us see whether records speak themselves.

Brazil is the only team featuring in all of the 21 world cup tournament including the current one. Argentina did not qualify in 1938, 1950, 1954 and 1970. This time poor performance almost cost their place. In the do or die match against Ecuador they were trailing 0-1 staring at the possibility of play off for qualification. Lionel Messi rescued with a brilliant hat trick. Brazil was brilliant all the way qualifying as the first team other than automatic qualifier host Russia for World Cup 2018. 

Off the past 20 world cup Brazil finished among the top four on 11 times – champions a record 5 times , 2nd , 3rd and fourth each twice. Many consider the present team have the potential for matching the greatest ever team of 1970. Their super star Neymar recovered well before world cup. Appearing in two practice matches he scored two. 

Head to Head 

Where They Stand                         Brazil                                                Argentina

Qualifying For Finals                      21/21                                                   17/21

Champions                       1958,1962,1970,1994,2002                           1978,1986

2nd Place                               1950, 1998                                        1930, 1990,2014 

3rd Place                                1938 ,1978                                             …………….

4th Place                             1974,201417/21                                         …………….

Leading Goal Scorer                     Pele (77)                                             Messi (61)

FIFA Ranking                                   2nd                                                     Fifth 

Qualification for 2018      1st team to qualify topping                        Bottom qualifier from 
                                         South American Group                 South America at the last minute

Performance In 
Practice Matches                    Unbeaten so far                                Lost 6-1 To Spain and 
                                                                                                     4-2 against Nigeria

Players to Watch                    Neymer, Jesus,                                    Messi, Di Maria, 
                                            Coutinho,Willan                                   Aguero and Higuain

With their fearsome four Jesus, Coutinho, Willan and Neymar Brazil is threatening for Hexa.  On the other hand Maradona inspired Argentina won the cup twice in 1978 and 1986 . It became runners in the very first world cup losing to Uruguay in the final 4-2 .It had opportunity of winning the cup again 1990 and 2014. But they lost both the final to Germany. 

Lionel Messi one of top player world would ever see remains without having a touch of the most coveted prize. Messi in Barcellona looks different in world cup as he is heavily marked. His mates so far failed to provide him breathing space. Aguero, Higuain and Di Maria must shine to take Argentina beyond group stage to business session and all the way. 

Brazil is placed in Group E along side Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Argentina is in Group D with Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. Brazil is expected to breeze through with its galaxy of superior quality players and wonderful brand of attacking football Joga Bonita they are displaying. They have brilliant bench strength of quality players. Argentina is in a tight group. They have already lost a practice match against Super Eagle Nigeria 4-2. 

Iceland is surprise package after their huge performance in Euro and Croatia is a strong performer. Argentina will have to be top in their on their game.

Possible Playing XI

Brazil: 

Possibly Brazil would play in 4-1-4-1 formation.
                              Allison (GK)  
Marcello, Marquinhos, Miranda and Fagnar, 
                               Casemero 
Coujtinho, Arthur, Paulinho and Willan ‘
                                Neymar 

Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino and Doulglas Costa will be waiting on the bench.

Argentina:

Argentina usually plays 4-3-3 formation 
                          Romero (GK) 
Tagliafico, Fazio, Olamendi, Marceado
            Buglia, Mascherano, Paredes
            Di Maria, Aguero
and Messi 

Higuain and Dybala will be available when required. Unfortunately quality forward Lanzini got injured and taken out of the squad.

Whenever Brazil and Argentinean fans argue specially younger generation they refer to 7-1 drubbing that Brazil digested against eventual winner Germany in 2014. But they never consider that most the present generation has not seen Argentina lifting the cup after1986. They must over look recent records. 

Brazil sparked all the way on the road to Russia. While Argentina stumbled all the way and only survived by the skin of the teeth. Spain blasted them 6-1 in a friendly match. Their group mate Nigeria also won 4-2 against them. Brazil won all practice matches .Even they smashed Costa Rica 3-0 in the last match.

Can you compare Brazil and Argentina apple to apple?

BDST: 0928 HRS, JUN 13, 2018
SI

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