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We must pick ourselves up to defeat Brazil – Messi

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Messi
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has urged his Argentina teammates not to dwell on Thursday’s home World Cup qualifying defeat to Uruguay as the reigning world champions turn their attention to rivals Brazil.

Uruguay ended the Albiceleste’s 14-game unbeaten run as goals from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez gave Marcelo Bielsa’s team a 2-0 win at La Bombonera.

“It was our turn to lose and this will now be a test for us,” Messi told reporters.

“We must pick ourselves up and try to put in a good performance in the next match against Brazil.”

Argentina remain top of the 10-team South American group while Brazil are fifth following a 2-1 defeat to Colombia in Barranquilla on Thursday.

Messi said his team would not be fooled by Brazil’s shaky recent form when the teams meet at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium next Tuesday.

“These matches stand apart because of the history of the teams,” the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner said.

“We have to stand up and respect them for who they are because Brazil are never easy opponents, especially at Maracana.”

Messi admitted that Argentina struggled to counter the physicality and speed of Uruguay’s players, and he praised the Celeste’s improvement under Argentine manager Bielsa, who took charge of the team in May.
“You can see his influence on all of the teams that he manages,” Messi said.

“We knew the type of game it would be. They are intense, physical and fast through the middle of the pitch. They made it very difficult for us to play our normal game. We never felt comfortable and didn’t manage to control possession for extended periods.”

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