Lionel Messi: De Paul Discloses Argentina Captain’s Speech Before Beating Brazil at Maracana

Lionel Messi: De Paul Discloses Argentina Captain’s Speech Before Beating Brazil at Maracana

Elijah Odetokun
March 12, 2024 at 7:41 AM
In this article:
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Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Rodrigo De Paul logo
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FIFA World Cup
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FIFA World Cup qualification (CONMEBOL)
  • Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 at the Maracana Stadium in November
  • Nicolas Otamendi’s bullet header won it for the world champions
  • Rodrigo De Paul has disclosed how Lionel Messi inspired the win

Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to a 1-0 victory over Brazil at the Maracana Stadium, during the CONMEBOL edition of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in November 2023.

The world champions bounced back from a 2-0 home loss to Uruguay at La Bombonera five days before, a match which ended their winning start to the qualifying campaign.

Rodrigo De Paul, Lionel Messi, Argentina, Brazil, FIFA World Cup qualifier, CONMEBOL, Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro.
Lionel Messi and Rodrigo De Paul stand over a freekick for Argentina against Brazil. Photo by MB Media.
Source: Getty Images

Veteran defender, Nicolas Otamendi’s powerful header in the second half from Giovanni Lo Celso’s corner was enough to seal a win in the home of their eternal rivals.

It was the second win for La Albiceleste at the stadium in two years after the 2021 Copa America triumph, thanks to Angel Di Maria’s lone goal.

De Paul discloses Messi’s speech

Messi has been a different player and the national team leader since Lionel Scaloni convinced him to come out of retirement after the 2018 World Cup.

He is regarded by many of his teammates as a great leader despite appearing to be quiet. Rodrigo De Paul has disclosed his speech to the team before the game.

"Leo told us: 'We fell to Brazil in 2019, went to the Copa America, and made history. We fell to Saudi Arabia, won the World Cup, and made history. Now we've fallen for the third time to Uruguay, so let's go out today and make history.' That was incredible…" he said on La Casa Streaming.

Per Evening Standard, the match was marred with violence after a fight broke out between the fans and Brazil police attacked their rival fans. Messi ultimately ordered his teammates off the pitch.

The match continued after meetings with both sides in the dressing room. The Inter Miami star accused Brazil of brutality towards their people during a pitch-side interview and statement on his Instagram page.

When Messi cautioned Enzo Fernandez

Sports Brief also reported on Messi cautioning Enzo Fernandez after the Chelsea midfielder attempted to rile up rival fans after Otamendi’s goal in the second half.

The captain quickly spotted the shush gesture by the youngster, who he tapped and turned away from the scene due to the already violent atmosphere of the game.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.