Messi Ends Seven-Year Goal Drought Against Brazil on Argentina Return

Published November 15th, 2019 - 10:38 GMT
 The five-time Ballon d'Or winner got himself on the scoresheet against the Selecao for the first time since 2012 in an international friendly
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner got himself on the scoresheet against the Selecao for the first time since 2012 in an international friendly

Lionel Messi's winning goal against Brazil in an international friendly on Friday marked his first against Argentina's fiercest rivals in seven years.

The Barcelona superstar returned to Argentina's starting line up after serving a three-month suspension for criticising CONMEBOL during this summer's Copa America.

Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus squandered a golden chance to give Brazil the lead when he placed a penalty kick wide of the post in the early stages of the contest, and was made to pay for his miss moments later.

Messi won a penalty in the 12th minute of the game after jinking his way into the box and going down under a clumsy challenge from Juventus full-back Alex Sandro.

Alisson failed to hold Messi's tame spot-kick, allowing the diminutive magician to tap into an empty net from the rebound for his 69th goal in 137 appearances for La Albicelestes.

Argentina ultimately held on for a 1-0 victory in Saudi Arabia, banishing the memory of a painful semi-final defeat against Brazil at the Copa America.

Messi's latest goal for his country was his first against Brazil since 2012, when he netted a hat-trick in a 4-3 friendly victory in the United States.

The two sides have met on four previous occasions since then, with Messi unable to find the net during three defeats and one victory.

Brazil extended their winless run to five matches with their latest defeat, while Argentina picked up a fourth win from their last six.

Messi and company are due back in friendly action against Uruguay in Tel Aviv on Monday on Monday, but there are fears the match could be called off because of fighting in Israel.

Brazil, meanwhile, are scheduled to face South Korea in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, which is their final outing before next years 2022 World Cup qualifiers commence.

Messi will return to Barcelona next week as Ernesto Valverde's side begins preparations for a La Liga clash at Leganes on November 23.

The Spanish champions will then switch their focus back to the Champions League, with Borussia Dortmund set to arrive at Camp Nou for a crucial Group F showdown four days later.


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