Lionel Messi on his return to international duty on Friday after a three-month ban defeated their fierce rivals Brazil by 1-0 in a friendly match played in Saudi Arabia. The Barcelona star forward was suspended by CONMEBOL for raising his voice against the corrupted South American Football ruling body.
Messi found the back of the net at 13 minutes, double-tapping the ball after the rewarded penalty was saved by Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson.
He netted the only goal of the game which came shortly after the Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus failed to found the back of the net through the foul.
Messi, who scored his hat-trick through pair of his free-kicks in the last game with Barcelona, in the match were proven unworthy in front of Brazilian keeper Alisson in the second half.
The 18-year old Rodrygo who netted his sensational Champions League hat-trick made his Brazil debut replacing Willian for the last 20 minutes.
However, Brazil failed to find an equalizer to continue their winless run since they conquered the Copa America title.
It’s important to win and it is always nice to beat Brazil, for the rivalry, which feels a lot of late, said Lionel Messi in a post-match interview. He further added, “It’s good for everything that is to come, to continue growing while looking towards the qualifiers and the next Copa America 2020.”
The match between the two countries was the second in South Arabia before they meet in October 2018 where Brazil defeated Argentina by 1-0.
Brazil defeated Argentina by 2-0 this year at the 2019 Copa America, that turned controversial after Messi complained the hosts had benefited from favoritism.
On 19 November 2019 Brazil will play a friendly game against South Korea in Abu Dhabi as their year’s last game before the South American qualifying starts for the 2022 World Cup in March.