EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mano Menezes made two things clear in his post-match press conference at MetLife Stadium: Brazil deserved more, and Lionel Messi is the best player in the world.
The Brazil boss was disheartened after what he called "a deserving performance" by his team still resulted in a loss, the Selecao's second in a row after falling to Mexico in Dallas last week.
"I'm not satisfied because we deserved a win today. We controlled the match and created opportunities that if we would have capitalized on, surely we'd be winners," Menezes said after the 4-3 loss.
Fielding a team largely meant to prepare for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London, Menezes took some positives from the loss, acknowledging that his team showed some of the explosiveness that was missed in the recent loss to Mexico.
"I liked the way the group worked, I'm convinced we have a solid Olympic squad that can adjust in the last preparatory stage," the former Corinthians manager said.
When asked about Lionel Messi, Argentina's hat trick hero, Menezes was not shy about praising the two-time FIFA Ballon d'Or.
"Messi is the best in the world, and these things happen sometimes when you face him," he said.
Although Menezes admitted his strategy to stop the Barcelona star was flawed, he challenged the notion of a proven system to stop him.
"When you face Messi, there's no one solution. When you play against guys like that who are considered the best in the world, you just have to weigh your options and the idea is usually not to leave him with enough space to play. We probably left him with a lot of space today."
And while Messi was brilliant for Argentina, Menezes refused to categorize the play of his budding star, Neymar, after the Santos man failed to score at the MetLife Stadium:
"We're the Brazilian team. We win and lose as a team and it's not fair to talk about certain players when we lose to give them more responsibility. This is a team issue. That analysis is something [the press] does and not coaches," Menezes said.
John Rojas contributed additional reporting to this story from New Jersey.
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