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Argentina and Brazil: Rivals in Life and in Sport

by www.latinamericans.co.uk
Argentina and Brazil: Rivals in Life and in Sport
The relations between Argentina and Brazil have been rocky in many aspects of life, including armed conflicts, political stalemates and in what some consider the most important aspect of daily life in the two countries, football. It would be unwise to use the term enemies to describe these two respected countries as they share many similarities and are dependent on trade with one another to maintain their strong economies. Rivals would be a better term. Much like brothers that have their differences, Argentinians and Brazilians engage in fierce but generally respectful competition.
Some would argue the rivalry was brought to South America from Europe as the Spaniards and Portuguese engaged in a battle to colonize the area that is so rich with natural resources. Whatever the origin, one of the most visible examples of the rivalry has been displayed on the football pitch a total of 93 times. The football rivalry is deepened by the success and performance that each team has enjoyed in the matches, with a series total of 35 wins for Brazil, 34 for Argentina and 24 draws. Many times this rivalry is brought forward during discussions of the best player of all time, as well, with Argentinians supporting Maradona and Brazilians Pele.
Some noteworthy events have occurred both on the pitch and in the stands while these two respected sides engaged in battle. In 1937, fans of both sides engaged in back and forth bickering, often of a racial nature, and apparently the Argentinian fans took it to the level of insulting the Brazilian players. After regular time, the score was a draw and the Brazilians decided to collectively leave the pitch before it was official in order to make a stand against this type of behavior. This game is referred to in many press clipping as the game of shame. Two years later it would be the Argentinians walking off the field before the end of the game in protest to calls that seemed to greatly favor the Brazilian side. Tensions continued to rise and in 1946, a full riot erupted during a match of the two sides. Play had been getting progressively rougher in previous meetings and upon a fierce injury inflicted on the Argentine captain, disorder ensued. Players, police and fans were all engaged in violence on the pitch. Order was somehow restored and the game was played to conclusion with Argentina winning 2-0. While there have been some isolated incidents on the pitch since the 1946 game, mass violence has not occurred, following the general trend of civility and order in sport. The two sides met in the semifinals of this years Olympic Games in Beijing, with Argentina winning convincingly 3-0. However, per Olympic rules, both sides were without some of their most regarded players as the teams are not allowed to field a player over 23. The last meeting of full national teams occurred in the 1990 World Cup with Argentina defeating Brazil 1-0.
Whatever your side or even if you do not have a vested interest in this fierce rivalry, it would be ignorance not to recognize this as one of the most colorful, competitive and entertaining rivalries in all of sport. The two sides are sure to meet again on the world stage to provide more history and entertainment. And rest assured, the countries that have produced the likes of Pele, Maradona, Kaka, Ronaldo, Robinho, Ronaldinho, Zanetti, Crespo, Messi, Roberto Carlos (the list could go on and on) will continue to produce athletes with solid fundamentals, speed, intelligence and a fierce passion for the game that is rarely reproduced elsewhere. 
 www.latinamericans.co.uk - Promoting British Latin  relationships through culture, articles, business and dating


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