For the first time in more than two years, Brazil and Argentina will reignite one of world football’s greatest rivalries as they meet during qualification for the 2026 World Cup.
During the match at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, fans around the globe will be treated to watching some of the best footballers of their generation face off. It’s fair to say a good deal of controversy and drama is to be expected.
That’s because these two nations hold a fierce disliking of each other, dating back to their first official meeting back in 1914. Since then, matches between the pair have featured great goalscoring, fascinating storylines and violence which for a long time saw both refuse to play one another.
The Sporting News details the rivalry, the numbers on either side and who has held the upper hand between Brazil and Argentina.
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Since first meeting all the way back in 1914, in a friendly which Argentina won 3-0, the all-time head-to-head record between these tow great footballing nations has remained relatively even.
As of early November 2023 – before their meeting on November 20 at the Maracana – it’s Brazil who hold the very slight edge overall. The five-time World Cup champions have won 43 of the prior 109 meetings across all competitions, narrowly beating Argentina’s total of 40 victories.
These two great rivals will meet for the first time in two years in Rio on November 21, 2023 during qualification for the upcoming 2026 World Cup.
Prior to that, the recent meetings between the two nations have yielded pretty even results overall with Brazil holding the slight edge with four victories across the past 10 meetings, even though Argentina as world champions have had greater success as a team.
In fact, the all-time results also remain relatively with Brazil winning just three times more than Argentina across their 109 previous meetings.
Simply put, yes, Brazil and Argentina hold a storied rivalry in international football.
Due to the fact that both countries border one another and both are football-obsessed as nations, these two sides do not like each other, and as such, a number of international matches have been shrouded in controversy throughout the past century.
Matches between these sides are commonly referred to as the ‘Battle of the Americas’ or ‘Superclassic of the Americas’ and across history, have witnessed some of the great footballers of all time face off.
But these matches are also usual violent and controversial affairs on the pitch with games often marred by bad fouls and the accumulation of yellow and red cards.
There were also points during the history of this rivalry where both sides refused to play against one another. No matches were played between the two sides between the years of 1925 and 1937 after a prior Copa America final had turned violent. As a result, both teams refused to compete in competitions in which the other side was also invited, something that again happened after 1946 when the two teams didn’t face off for another 10 years.