The highly-anticipated 2026 World Cup qualifying clash between Argentina and Brazil witnessed a terrifying clash between the fans and the Police at the Rio di Janerio’s iconic Maracana Stadium. During the incident, Football legend and Argentine skipper Lionel Messi made a bold and unprecedented decision to lead the entire Argentina national team off the field.
The unexpected move came in response to escalating clashes between fans and police, turning the once-celebratory atmosphere into one of chaos. Eyewitnesses reported tensions rising even before the start of the game. The fans of the two South American giants were clashing in the stands. The clash wasn’t stopping due to which the Brazilian Police were forced to intervene. They used batons to disperse a group of Argentine fans. The video of the incident is going viral on social media.
Watch the video here:
The decision to abandon the match sends a powerful message about prioritising player and spectator safety over the competition. Messi‘s actions are likely to spark discussions about the role of football in addressing societal issues and the responsibilities of both players and authorities in ensuring the well-being of everyone involved in the beautiful game. He also took to social media to address the issue.
View this post on Instagram
“This team continues to make history. Great victory in the Maracaná although it will be marked by the repression of the Argentinians once again in Brazil. This can’t be tolerated it’s insane and it needs to end now!!” he wrote.
Brilliant performance by Argentina
Talking about the match, Brazil faced challenges in creating meaningful opportunities during the match, and their initial shot on goal didn’t occur until the 38th minute when Gabriel Martinelli’s attempt was cleared off the line by Argentina’s Cristian Romero. In the second half, Brazil adopted a more positive approach.
Despite Brazil’s efforts, Argentina seized the lead in the 63rd minute with Nicolas Otamendi scoring a header from a corner delivered by Giovani Lo Celso. Brazil’s difficulties persisted as substitute Joelinton was red-carded in the 82nd minute for an off-the-ball incident involving De Paul.
This defeat marked Brazil’s third consecutive loss in World Cup qualifiers, a historic first in their football journey. Additionally, it represented their inaugural home loss in a World Cup qualifier. Argentina’s triumph solidified their position at the top of the South American qualifying standings with 15 points from six games, while Brazil now occupies sixth place with seven points from six games.
Bayern Munich allege racial abuse towards Dayot Upemacano after loss to Lazio during UEFA Champions League
Bayern Munich lost their first leg of the round of 16 versus Lazio on Wednesday. Ciro Immobile scored in the 69th minute of the game. Dayot Upemacano was sent off in the 67th minute which gave Lazio the penalty.
Post the loss there was widespread hate given towards the French defender. Many fans had racially abused the young defender for his folly which cost Bayern Munich the game. The club has issued a statement which saw them defend their player.
Bayern Munich had lost to Bayer Leverkusen over the weekend to see the gap increase to 5 points. Xabi Alonso and his side are sitting pretty at the top of the Bundesliga table after their win on Saturday.
Bayern Munich comes out in support of Dayot Upemacano –
After the 1-0 loss to Lazio, Bayern Munich has come out to defend their player Dayot Upemacano. “FC Bayern strongly condemns the racist comments being directed towards Dayot Upemacano on social media. Anyone who comments hateful words such as these is no fan of our club” wrote on Twitter.
After a dull first half, the match saw life come into the contest in the 67th minute of the game. French defender Upemacano fouled Gustav Isaksen inside the penalty area. The referee was quick to whip out the red card and send the player back to the dugout.
Ciro Immobile slotted the penalty to help his side take a 1-0 in the 69th minute. it was all Lazio from there as their backline held fort despite the attacks mounted by the opposition. Harry Kane and his side couldn’t find the equalizer as the match finished 1-0 in favour of Lazio.
The England striker said, “It’s been a tough week. We started well and had some clear chances. I had one, Jamal (Musiala) had one, Josh (Kimmich) had one from the edge of the box. In these games, those are big moments which we weren’t able to take.”
England’s captain had missed a chance early in the game after an amazing ball from Thomas Muller. “They’re the ones you want and I just leaned back. That’s football and part of being a striker: you’re going to miss them now and again. The main thing for me and the team is to focus on the next challenge. We’re in a difficult spell, there’s no hiding that. We’re not out of it and we’ll never give up. One spark can change a lot and we need to try to find that,” said Kane.
‘Marketing, money and advertising’ – Manchester City star Rodri raises sharp criticism on Ballon d’Or award
Manchester City star Rodri has questioned the validity of the Ballon d’Or award after he failed to feature in the top 3 of the list. It was Argentina icon Lionel Messi who won the prestigious award – a record 8th time – last October for leading his nation to World Cup glory. Meanwhile, Rodri, who also had a tremendous outing with The Citizens, was overlooked and finished fifth.
The Spanish midfielder was placed behind his teammates Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland as well as Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe. However, Rodri said he was not surprised to be left out of the top three as he believes individual awards are driven by “marketing, money and advertising”. The 27-year-old added that what he achieved collectively in the game matters to him the most.
In an interview with The Mirror, Rodri said: “I am not surprised. This is normal. I understand very well how things work in these individual awards. They are based on marketing, money and advertising. There have been midfielders before who were also Spanish who did not get what they deserved. Do you understand what I mean? (Laughs). What ultimately matters to me in football is what I achieved collectively.”
Reflecting Rodri’s statement, he was instrumental in City’s treble-winning campaign last season. Notably, he scored the crucial goal that secured the Sky Blue heroes their first Champions League title last June. Pep Guardiola’s men are gearing up for another successful campaign this time around.
U23 coach Javier Mascherano says Messi has invitation to play 2024 Olympics
Former Argentina midfielder and current U-23 coach Javier Mascherano has said that Lionel Messi has the invitation to represent his nation in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Messi, who is currently playing for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, recently won the FIFA Best award and his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or.
“Well, everyone knows my relationship with Leo, the friendship I have with him. I have always said that a player like Leo has opened doors and the invitation to accompany us then will obviously depend on him, his compromises and his time, but the invitation will clearly be there,” Mascherano said.
Notably, the Inter Miami forward won gold with Argentina at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The men’s football event at the Olympics is scheduled to take place in July and August.
WATCH: Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham opines on Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate
A recent viral video has showcased Jude Bellingham’s unequivocal stance on the perpetual debate surrounding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The ongoing Messi vs. Ronaldo debate, spanning over a decade, has been a topic of contention among football enthusiasts. From fans to players and the media, each is advocating for their preferred football legend.
The footage captures Bellingham’s candid response when questioned about his opinion on the Messi-Ronaldo debate. With renowned figures like Francesco Totti, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Roberto Carlos favouring onaldo, While others, like Sergio Ramos, Neymar, Luka Modric, and Wayne Rooney, assert Messi’s superiority, the debate has remained inconclusive.
Here is the video:
Jude Bellingham: Messi or Ronaldo?
🗣️ “For me, Messi”
— Lionel Messi Fan Club (@LMessifanclub) February 11, 2024
In the video, Bellingham wastes no time in expressing his unequivocal preference. When asked to choose between Messi and Ronaldo, the English midfielder confidently asserts Messi’s supremacy, categorically stating, “Messi for me, for sure.” The short yet decisive response from Bellingham adds his voice to the myriad of opinions that have circulated in the football world, further fueling the debate.
Jude Bellingham joins the club of same-thinkers!
Jude Bellingham’s choice of Messi as the greatest footballer of all time aligns him with the camp that considers the Argentine maestro’s skill, vision, and goal-scoring prowess to be unparalleled. The video has sparked reactions and discussions among fans, reigniting the age-old debate and showcasing the enduring nature of the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry.
It’s worth noting that earlier, Bellingham also asserted Messi’s supremacy. He had said, “Messi for me. You can just watch him and think, ‘How does he do that?’ Every time I watch him, he just does something that makes me think, ‘You can’t be human’.”
As the debate continues to thrive, Bellingham’s unequivocal endorsement of Messi adds another perspective to the ongoing discourse, contributing to the ongoing fascination with comparing two of football’s greatest icons. It’s worth noting that Messi is currently playing for Inter Miami, while Ronaldo is playing for Saudi Club Al-Nassr.
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