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Brazil fans told to honour Lionel Messi with 'historic' gesture almost never given to Argentina players

Jack Kenmare

Published 
| Last updated 

Brazil fans told to honour Lionel Messi with 'historic' gesture almost never given to Argentina players

Lionel Messi should be recognised for "what he represents to world football" when Argentina come up against Brazil, according to one of his former Barcelona teammates.

The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner is expected to feature for Lionel Scaloni's side in what is being billed as the one of the biggest World Cup qualifiers in decades.

More likely than not, he will step foot inside the Maracana stadium on Tuesday night, two years after he lifted the Copa America.

And former Brazil left-back Adriano, who played with Messi at Barcelona between 2010 and 2016, believes the Argentine should be honoured by rival fans for his contribution to football.

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“It would be an achievement for Messi to be cheered in Brazil," Adriano told The Guardian. "It’s a game at the Maracanã, a world classic game."

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He added: “I’d approve if it happened. It would really honour his career. It would be historic. Even though he’s Argentinian, it’s recognition for what he represents to world football.”

Brazil, meanwhile, are hoping to "contain" Messi on Tuesday night as they hope improve their poor run of form.

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The Selecao are winless in three but Brazil's caretaker manager Diniz remains hopeful, despite their 2-1 defeat to Colombia on Thursday.

"Sure, you can't not worry about a player of that magnitude. But we have to play our game as we try to contain all the creative capacity he has," Diniz said in a press conference on Monday.

"Dealing with Messi is obviously different and you have to worry. It's impossible not to worry about a player of his stature and the decision-making power he has."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty
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Diniz added: "I hope we play well and the fans can play along with the team creating a great environment," Diniz said. "We are prepared to play a team that, if they are not the best [team in the world], they are one of the best. And they have been for a while, not just because they won the World Cup.

"They have players in the biggest leagues, used to the limelight. And there's Messi ... It's a team that's been playing well for a long time, a winning cycle and one that has maintained its base.

"We acknowledge that and we're going to prepare to do our best against a great opponent."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Lionel Messi, Brazil, Argentina, Adriano

Jack Kenmare
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