Lionel Messi vs Brazil: Why Argentina icon has struggled to take down South America's other superpower

Messi struggle BrazilGetty/GOAL

Throughout his career, few teams have been able to really stop Lionel Messi. It's one of the reasons he's in this famous GOAT conversation, after all. No matter the level, no matter the competition, Messi's record speaks for itself. With the World Cup now in his back pocket, there isn't much left to hold against him.

Messi's record, however, isn't spectacular against everyone. A very small number of sides have been able to stop him, and one of them just so happens to be his next opponent in CONMEBOL's biggest game.

Fresh off a disappointing loss to one up-and-comer, Uruguay, Messi will lead Argentina against Brazil on Tuesday in a clash of South America's titans. Historically, Argentina are one of the few teams that can even compete with the famous Selecao. Brazil have more World Cups, but Argentina have more senior titles. It's a rivalry that's so good mostly because it has been so even.

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It hasn't been for Messi, though. Brazil have largely been able to put a muzzle on the diminutive Argentine and, as they head into the next chapter of their historic rivalry, it may take the Messi magic that has often been missing for the world champions to escape the Maracana with a positive result.