The Greatest Moments From Brazil Vs Argentina Over The Years
Wed, Jul 07.21
The animosity between Brazil and Argentina dates way back to the 1920s with numerous physical and often violent encounters taking place. Ahead of the 2021 Copa America Final, we take a look back at the most infamous incidents to take place in this fixture, here's hoping this year's final doesn't take too much inspiration from these encounters.
1925 Copa America
The first encounter we decided to look at took place during the 1925 Copa America on Christmas day. Brazil were leading 2-0 meaning a third deciding match would need to be played to determine the winner. The Brazilians were through on goal again but a strong cynical foul by Ramón Muttis stopped the counter attack, Brazilian attacker Friedenreich reacted with a kick to which Muttis replied by punching him in the face. The stadium exploded with players fighting and pitch invasions from spectators, the game was suspended.
After the brief suspension in play the match was restarted without a sending off following a truce between Friedenreich and Muttis. The break in play clearly impacted Brazil with Argentina coming back from 2-0 to draw the game and win the Copa America. The next encounter between the nations didn’t take place for another 11 years because of this game.
1937 Copa America Final
In the 1937 Copa America final tensions were still high between the two nations from previous meetings. The final was played in Buenos Aires in front of a hostile Argentinian crowd, and the two sides were stuck in a goalless stalemate after 90 minutes.
Argentina scored twice in extra time controversially. Brazil were not happy with the state of the officiating and fearing their own safety from the crowd, so the Brazilian players walked off the pitch before the final whistle. The match was labelled the ‘joga da vergonha’ or the ‘shame game’ by the Brazilian press.
1939 Roca Cup
Two years later in 1939 the two sides were playing for the Roca Cup, which was contested exclusively between the two nations from 1914-1976. Argentina were minutes away from taking a decisive 2-0 lead in the 3 game series before the referee controversially blew for a Brazilian penalty.
Argentine defender Arcadia Lopez lost it at the referee having to be escorted off the pitch by police. The rest of the Argentina side were enraged and following in Brazil's footsteps from the Copa America, walked off the pitch. The penalty ended up being taken without a goalkeeper and Brazil won the match 3-2.
1946 Copa America Final
In the 1946 Copa America the sides were ready to go at it again, playing months earlier in a rough encounter which saw Argentine Batagliero leave the match with a broken leg. In the 28th minute a collision between Brazilian Pinto and Argentine captain Salomón left Salomón with a broken leg again and all hell broke loose.
Fights between Brazil, Argentina and the police ensued along with pitch invasions from another hostile Buenos Aires crowd which led to both sides having to hide out in the dressing rooms. After a break in play the match continued with Argentina winning 2-0, Salomón however, never played professional football again.
1978 World Cup
Brazil and Argentina both progressed to the second round of the 1978 World Cup with a spot in the final up for grabs for whoever finished top of Group B. Both nations won their first match and then played out a tense 0-0 draw taking them level on points with one match to play. Brazil beat Poland 3-1 taking them top of the group, meaning Argentina had to beat Peru by 4 goals to make it through to the final.
At half-time the match was 2-0, with Argentina well in control but Peru putting up a decent fight. The second-half was a different story, with Peru seemingly giving up and conceding another 4 goals in the second half, losing 6-0 and booking Argentina a place in the 1978 World Cup Final. Rumours started circulating around bribery and match-fixing, especially surrounding Peruvian goalkeeper Ramón Quiroga who was born in Argentina. The allegations led to nothing however and Argentina went on to beat the Netherlands in the final winning their first ever World Cup.
1982 World Cup
In 1982 Brazil, Argentina and Italy were all drawn in the same group for the World Cup. Losing the first game to Italy, Argentina needed to beat Brazil to stand a chance of going through. The reigning champions were no match for the Brazilians though being beaten 3-0 before scoring a consolation goal in the 90th minute. After a string of violent fouls and poor officiating, Argentine wonderkid Diego Maradona let his frustration get the better of him, lashing out and seeing red for a retaliatory foul on Batista the Brazilian midfielder.
1990 World Cup
To this day Italia 90 was the last time these two nations played each other at the biggest international tournament. Diego Maradona put Caniggia through on goal as the reigning champions beat Brazil 1-0 and knocked them out of the World Cup. After the match Brazilian left-back Branco came out and accused the Argentine training staff of lacing his water bottle with drugs while they were on the pitch treating an injured Pedro Throlligo.
Branco raised suspicions a few days after the match saying he felt sick and dizzy after drinking the water supplied by the Argentina staff. Maradona claimed 14 years after the incident that he had told the staff to put tranquilizers in the water, a fact which is still heavily disputed to this day.
1995 Copa America
The two bitter rivals met again in the 1995 Copa America quarter-finals. Batistuta had put Argentina 2-1 up in the 29th minute, a lead which stood all the way up until the final minutes - enter Túlio. The Brazilian obviously handled the ball in the penalty area before chipping the keeper, with all Argentina players stopping play expecting a whistle to blow.
The match finished 2-2 with the referee claiming he didn’t see the foul so the goal stood and the match went to penalties. Túlio also put away his penalty, sending Brazil into the semi-final. The incident was later dubbed ‘The hand of the devil’ by the Argentine press, what goes around comes around.
Who's your tip in the 2021 Copa America Final as Brazil take on Argentina on home soil in what is sure to be another classic encounter? Will Neymar and co be too strong for Messi's men? Or will Argentina provide a stunning upset?
Let us know in the comments!