World Cup qualifier LIVE: Kick-off delayed due to crowd trouble at the Maracana as old rivals clash in World Cup qualifier with 12 Premier League stars starting


Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest score, team news and updates as Lionel Messi‘s Argentina travel to Brazil in World Cup qualifying action at the Maracana. 

Brazil are on the field, Argentina are back in the dressing-room

So as it stands, we have Brazil out on the pitch and Argentina back in the dressing-room, the former look incresingly frustrated at the delay, the latter are absolutely seething with scenes out there.

The hosts are in conversation with the referees seemingly asking why they can’t get going now that the crowd trouble seems to have died down.

There’s a lot of hands on hips and angry muttering going on by the looks of things.

It’s all a little tense out there

Argentina are back off the pitch

Security now look to have largely seperated the two groups, but there is still an awful lot of pushing and shoving.

The Argentina players are now heading back off the pitch after asking the fans to stop.

There is still plenty of shouting as the world champions head down the tunnel, with a few cameras seemingly in an unfavourable position.

Hardly the start to the game that either side will have wanted, and the visitors look absolutely furious.

We’ll keep you updated as things unfold over at the Maracana.

Fights breaking out in the stands

Seats are being ripped out of the stands and hurled at security, while some of the home supporters have managed to get into the away end and there are a few clashes going on.

Security are continuing to try and quell the trouble, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to kick-off any time soon.

A slight delay to the start

Well it looks like we might have a delay to the start here, after some trouble in the crowd.

Stewards are rushing towards the away fans, and it appears that there is an issue from the Albiceleste fans that is holding us up.

The players are all on the pitch waiting while security look to sort the issue.

‘Oh captain, my captain’

You’d imagine we’ll be seeing a fair amount of this fella tonight…

The threat is somewhat obvious for Argentina

While Brazil will be without Vinicius Jnr there are a number of threats that the Albiceleste will have to be wary of.

For the Selecao, however, there’s a fairly obvious route to victory tonight – stop Messi. The only problem is that most teams have spent the best part of two decades trying to work that one out.

Here’s what Brail boss Fernando Diniz said ahead of kick-off: ‘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. 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.’

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 21: Lionel Messi of Argentina warms up prior to a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 21: Raphina of Brazil acknowledges fans prior to a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Scaloni insists his side are ‘not unbeatable’

Lionel Scaloni didn’t seem too put out about the loss to Uruguay when he faced the media ahead of the game.

Mind you, being the reigning world champion probably lends you a little confidence in your side’s ability to roll with the punches.

‘We always said we were not unbeatable. It was obvious, beyond the last result. You have to be prepared for that and to continue competing. No one likes to lose and that is clear, we are first ones who want to recover.

‘There are times when even if we lose, the form is important. The team, even though they didn’t play a good match, never stopped looking for their game, they kept trying to equalize.

‘I think the team competed and that makes me feel at ease. We have a great match ahead of us, a great opponent that will be tough. We have to keep doing what we have been doing, compete and try to get the three points. There is no other way.

‘We analyzed why the loss happened, we have our idea. We are lucky that we have another game coming up and that is the best thing. The hard thing would be to for us to see each other in a while and it would cost much more, now we have a rematch soon and that is the most important thing.’

Lionel Messi could not help Argentina extend its unbeaten streak since its World Cup title and in a fit of rage, was seen putting his hands around the throat of an opponent.

Uruguay beat Argentina 2-0 at La Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires on Thursday in a World Cup qualifying match, its biggest victory so far under new coach Marcelo Bielsa .

At one point in the contest, Lionel Messi was seen putting his hands on the throat of Uruguay defender Mathias Olivera.

For the full report, check out the linke attached!

Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli opened his international account for Brazil with a superb goal against Colombia, only for the Selecao to suffer their second defeat in World Cup qualifying.

Despite starring for Arsenal in the Premier League, Martinelli remains in the early stages of his national team career with Brazil having only made his debut last year.

The 22-year-old gave his nation the perfect start to their World Cup qualifier against Colombia.

For more on the Arsenal forward’s stunner, check out the link below.

Inter Miami DENY they have agreed to play in Saudi Arabian preseason tournament that would see Lionel Messi face off against Cristiano Ronaldo

Inter Miami shutdown reports that the MLS side will compete in the Riyadh Season Cup in a statement Tuesday evening.

Earlier on Tuesday, it was announced that Lionel Messi and co. were set to play against Cristiano Ronaldo and Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia in a blockbuster friendly game in February.

The game was being billed as ‘The Last Dance’ in what would have been likely the final match-up between two of the all-time greats of the sport.

For more on that one, check out the link below!

Argentina XI

And here’s the Argentina line-up!

Quite the atmosphere already

For context, this video is about 50 minutes before kick-off…

Argentina top of the group

Argentina are currently top of the group after five games, just two points clear of Uruguay after losing to their neighbours last time round, while the  Selecao are only fifth.

It’s been a far from routine qualification process so far for Fernando Diniz’s side, who have won just two of their games, losing twice and drawing their other match.

And they’re up against it tonight with the world champions – who they haven’t beaten since 2019 – in town.

Both sides lost their last game – but will one of them come out on top tonight?

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 21: A fan holds a cardboard cut-out of Lionel Messi prior to a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes of Argentina enter the pitch a FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Here’s how the hosts are lining up – as announced by a fantastic graphic!

It’s Alisson; Emerson, Marquinhos, Gabriel, Carlos; Guimaraes, Andre; Rodrygo, Raphinha, Martinelli; Jesus

Hello everybody!

Hello everyone and welcome to Mail Sport’s live CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying action and we’ve got arguably the biggest clash in international football coming up for you.

It’s the El Classico of the international game – Argentina vs Brazil!

The game is set to kick off at around 9.30pm local time – about an hour’s time – and we’ll be bringing you all the latest news, updates and stats around the game as we build up to what should be an absolute thriller!

A Brazilian fan holds a banner featuring Argentina's Lionel Messi prior to a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)
Fans of Argentina cheer before the start of the 2026 FIFA World Cup South American qualifiers football match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2023. (Photo by Daniel RAMALHO / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL RAMALHO/AFP via Getty Images)
Key Updates

  • Fights breaking out in the stands
  • Argentina XI
  • These two go a long way back
  • Hello everybody!


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