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Lionel Messi: Brazil Fans Show Love to Argentina Star Before World Cup Qualifier: Video
- Argentina and Brazil squared off in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night
- Brazilian fans at the Maracana cheered on Messi as he was warming up
- The Argentina squad left the pitch after a fight started in the stands
Lionel Messi is a beloved figure everywhere.
That holds true even in Brazil as Argentina’s rival supporters cheered on the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner as he warmed up at the Maracana Stadium on Tuesday night.
Brazilian fans chanted “Messi, Messi” as the Argentina star made his way down their side of the stadium.
Brazilian fans love Messi
Messi acknowledged the fans’ cheers and gave them a wave. The Inter Miami star smiled when he realized that the supporters who lauded him were, in fact, fans of Brazil.
The video of the lovely interaction between Messi and the Brazilian supporters was shared on social media and has since gone viral.
Ugly scenes before Argentina vs. Brazil match
Argentina and Brazil are eternal rivals, though, and that led to ugly scenes before the match even started.
A fight broke out between Argentina fans and Brazilian police at the Maracana Stadium minutes before the start of the World Cup qualifier.
Messi and the rest of the Argentina team rushed to where their fans were seated to make the fighting stop.
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was seen hitting a police officer as he objected to the way they were treating the Argentina supporters.
Messi was not pleased with how the police treated the Argentina fans, instructing his team moments later to leave the field and return to the locker room.
Cooler heads prevailed minutes after Argentina exited, with Messi and co. returning to the pitch to get the World Cup qualifier off and running.
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Messi's Maracana experience
Sports Brief recently reported on Messi’s best and worst moments at the Maracana Stadium.
The biggest heartbreak of his footballing career happened in this iconic venue, with Argentina losing to Germany 1-0 in the 2014 World Cup Final.
Messi found redemption at the Maracana seven years later when he led Argentina to the 2021 Copa America title, beating Brazil 1-0 in the final.