Tonight’s World Cup qualifier at the Maracana could see something unprecedented. According to former Brazilian left-back Adriano, Seleção fans should honor Lionel Messi for his contribution to football.
Messi has experienced highs and lows at the iconic Rio de Janeiro stadium. After all, that’s where he lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany. But it’s also where he redeemed his international silverware drought by securing the 2021 Copa America.
The Copa America trophy, of course, was just the start of an extensive run for Argentina. Led by their star man, Argentina took home the World Cup trophy the following year.
“It would be an achievement for Messi to be cheered in Brazil. It’s a game at the Maracanã, a world classic game,” Adriano said in an interview with the Guardian.
“I’d approve if it happened. It would really honor his career. It would be historic. Even though he’s Argentinian, it’s recognition for what he represents to world football.”
However, the Seleção are in a bit of a slump thus far in World Cup qualifiers. They’ve lost their last two qualifying matches for the first time. Colombia nicked them off 2-1 last Thursday.
Brazil boss Fernando Diniz is desperate for a win tonight, which they’ll have to do without the injured Neymar. Diniz is well aware of the burden Brazil faces in stopping Messi, who’s scored five goals in 13 career matches against Brazil. “It’s impossible not to worry about a player of his stature,” said Diniz.
Should Brazil fans give Messi a standing ovation during the Super Clasico tonight? Have your say.