Pele, Maradona, 'holy water' and the hand of Tulio - 10 unforgettable clashes between Brazil and Agentina

With the two South American giants set to clash in Buenos Aires on Thursday, Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour looks back at some classic encounters between the two great rivals
Brazil and Argentina resume their historic rivalry on Thursday at River Plate’s famous Monumental stadium for the third round of qualifying for World Cup 2018.

Like any clasico, the game carries huge significance, despite the absence of Lionel Messi through injury and the fact that both sides are struggling for form.

Few rivalries are as intense as that which exists between these two South American powerhouses. In over a century of competition, both teams can recall historic victories over their great enemy.

From the ‘hand of Tulio’ and Adriano stunners to Claudio Caniggia’s smash and grab and Lionel Messi’s 2012 hat-trick, Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour looks back at ten Superclasico classics.
Copa Roca: Argentina 6 - 1 Brazil - 05/03/1940

In March, 1940, San Lorenzo’s Gasometro witnessed the biggest victory in the history of this great rivalry. River Plate great Carlos Peucelle led the rout, bagging himself a hat-trick while the Huracan’s prolific Herminio Masantonio helped himself to a double.

Copa Roca: Argentina 2 - 1 Brazil - 07/07/1957

In the first match of the final of the Copa Roca 1957, a 16-year-old Pele he was called up for the first time but had to settle for a place on the bench at the Maracana. Coach Sylvio Pirillo eventually waved the teenager on in the second-half with Brazil trailing 1-0 and he made an immediate impact, celebrating his debut with the equalising goal. Brazil went down 2-1 that day but the young man who made his international bow made up for that disappointment in the second leg by marking his first start for his country with the first goal in a 2-0 victory at the Pacaembu to give Brazil the Copa Roca. "It was my frist international tite," three-time World Cup-winner Pele later recalled. "I did not realise it would be the first of many."

Friendly: Brazil 2 - 1 Argentina - 08/03/1970

Pele’s final international goal against Argentina arrived in 1970 in a friendly match as Brazil warmed up for the World Cup in Mexico. Once again it arrived at the Maracana in Rio. Jairzinho, who would go on to score in every round as Brazil claimed their third world title later that year, gave the Selecao the lead before another legendary Huracan star, Miguel Brindisi, equalised.

World Cup: Brazil 0 - 0 Argentina - 18/06/1978

The second group stage of the 1978 World Cup in Argentina saw the two sides clash in a tight, tense affair as the two nations did battle for a potential place in the World Cup final. This hard-fought goalless draw in Mendoza certainly wasn’t one for the neutrals but was fiercely contested. The draw, coupled with Brazil’s 3-1 victory over Poland in their next game, left hosts Argentina needing to beat a talented Peru by a four-goal margin. Controversially, Argentina prevailed 6-0 and went on to win their first world title.

World Cup: Argentina 1 - 0 Brazil - 24/06/1990

Brazil and Argentina met in three consecutive World Cups between 1974 and 1982, with Brazil winning twice in addition to the goalless draw in ’78. But Argentina changed all that in 1990 as Diego Maradona led the reigning world champions to a narrow victory over Brazil in Italy. It was his sensational run and reverse pass that left Claudio Caniggia free to round Taffarel and send Brazil packing with the only goal of the game in the second round clash. The match has since caused controversy after Maradona said the Argentine bench gave Branco some ‘holy water’ to drink, leaving the Brazil defender a little dazed and confused.

Copa America: Brazil 2 - 2 Argentina - 17/07/1995

While Argentina and Maradona progressed through the 1986 World Cup to claim their second title with a little help from the ‘Hand of God’, Brazil got their own hands on a cheeky goal when striker Tulio used his to control a deep Jorginho cross that was flying over his head. The ball dropped at his feet and the Botafogo star clipped his finish into the far corner. Argentina were outraged, but the officials somehow missed the infringement and Brazil progressed to the final with 2-1 victory. Brazil lost the final to Uruguay, but they will forever remember the 'Mão de Tulio.

World Cup qualifying: Brazil 3 - 1 Argentina - 02/06/2004

Brazil versus Argentina is usually a tightly contested affair, but in 2004 Brazil blew away their rivals as Ronaldo hit three penalties to give the selecao victory at the Mineirao. His hat-trick sealed a 3-1 win – a victory that ultimately saw them top Conmebol World Cup qualifying above second-placed Argentina on goal difference.

Copa America: Brazil 2 - 2 Argentina - 25/07/2004

The final of the Copa America 2004 was one of the most spectacular games between the two teams. Even without many of their biggest stars, the Selecao conquered the world two years previously, Carlos Alberto Parreira led the Selecao to a historic title in Peru. Argentina were leading 2-1 going into the final moments of the game, but Adriano pounced on a Diego cross to spin and volley home a dramatic equaliser. Brazil went on to triumph 4-2 on penalties and claim their seventh South American crown.

Confederations Cup: Brazil 4 - 1 Argentina - 29/06/2005

What the current Brazil coach Dunga would give for an attacking trio like Adriano, Ronaldinho and Kaka in their pomp. Those names still give Argentinians the chills today as they think back to the Confederations Cup of 2005 when Brazil scored an emphatic 4-1 victory in Germany that saw all three get their names on the scoresheet.

Friendly: Argentina 4 - 3 Brazil - 09/06/2012

Lionel Messi has long faced criticism that he struggles to reproduce his Barcelona form when he pulls on his country’s shirt. But Messi was at his astonishing best in 2012 when the great no.10 grabbed a famous hat-trick to ensure his side got the better of a seven-goal thriller. It may only have been a friendly, but Messi’s stunning last-minute winner will live long in the hearts of his countrymen.