Lionel Messi slams Uruguay players for making offensive gestures in World Cup qualifier matchFootball
Brazil vs Argentina: Violence Rocks Game As Lionel Messi Orders Players to Leave Pitch
- Crowd trouble forced the delay of the Brazil versus Argentina game at the Maracana on November 22
- Argentina players tried to talk to the crowd before Lionel Messi led the team back to the change room
- Nicolas Otamendi scored the game's only goal for La Albiceleste with a towering second-half header
The much-awaited 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina descended into chaos after massive crowd trouble rocked the game a few seconds before the kickoff.
Both teams had already walked out of the tunnel and as they were taking the ceremonial squad photos on the pitch before the game, a fight broke out in the stands.
Footage shows Brazilian police trying to restore order by lashing fans with batons.
La Albiceleste players dashed over to try and help restore calm, with outspoken goalkeeper, Emi Martinez getting involved in an altercation with a police officer.
Goal reports that the incident reportedly started after the home fans were heard booing Argentina's national anthem.
Warning - this footage depicts violence and may be upsetting:
Lionel Messi was then spotted ordering his side to go back to the dressing room but re-emerged a couple of minutes later, with the game kicking off 30 minutes from its original scheduled time.
The first half was hotly contested, with the Selecao failing to maximise their high possession stats. Nicolas Otamendi broke the deadlock in the second half when he rose highest to meet a Giovanni Lo Celso corner kick.
The Benfica man planted his effort past Alisson Becker's reach, condemning Brazil to a run of four consecutive wins without a win. Joelinton was given a direct red card later on for a foul on Rodrigo De Paul.
Argentina remains top with 15 points, two ahead of Uruguay, while Brazil sinks to sixth place.
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Messi's experiences at the Maracana
Sports Brief recently reported on Messi's best and worst moments at the iconic Maracana Stadium in fellow South American nation, Brazil.
The biggest heartbreak of his footballing career happened in this iconic venue, with Argentina losing to Germany in the 2014 World Cup Final.
Messi got redemption at the stadium seven years later when he led Argentina to the 2021 Copa America title, beating Brazil 1-0 in the final.