Brazil is not too worried with Argentina star Lionel Messi ahead of their World Cup qualifier on Saturday.
Brazil coach Dunga said he does not plan any special defensive scheme to try to contain the Barcelona playmaker when the rivals meet in Rosario.
“Every player deserves attention,” Dunga said after Brazil’s practice at the Granja Comary training camp just outside Rio de Janeiro. “You can’t mark only one player and let 10 others remain free.”
Dunga praised Messi’s skills and recognised the dangers he can create, but said Brazil has to play its own game and not worry too much about the opposing players.
“It’s natural to have some precautions,” Dunga said. “But we have to play like we normally do.”
Messi has told Argentine media that although both teams have great players, he thinks Argentina has what it takes to beat the Brazilians. Messi, who is from Rosario, says he is motivated, and reportedly scored five times in practice on Wednesday.
Saturday’s match is key to Argentina, which is only fourth in South American qualifying for next year’s World Cup in South Africa. Brazil leads the group with 27 points, one more than Chile and three more than third-place Paraguay. Argentina has 22 points, and a loss could put the team in danger of missing out on football’s biggest showcase for the first time since 1970.
The top four nations automatically qualify, while the fifth-place nation will face a playoff with the fourth-place finisher in the CONCACAF region.
Although Argentina was under the most pressure, Dunga said he doesn’t expect the Argentines to play overly aggressive or violently. But some of the Brazilian are bracing for a physical match.
“As always, they will be playing hard,” Brazil striker Robinho said. “We know they will give all they have to beat us.”
Brazil hasn’t beaten its rival in World Cup qualifiers in Argentina since 1995. Dunga is also trying to match Carlos Alberto Parreira’s 1993 mark of four consecutive wins in World Cup qualifying.