Brazil’s turbulent times
Brazil has hit a rough patch in recent years, losing several matches and tournaments in the recent past. After the five-time World Champions lost to Argentina in the Copa America 2021 final, their form has deteriorated further. Brazil lost out on penalties to Croatia in the quarter-final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, signaling the end of coach Tite’s six-year reign. Since then, caretaker manager Ramon Menezes or interim manager Fernando Diniz has failed to push Brazil up the ladder. Neymar’s team sit sixth in their 2026 World Cup qualification group and recently lost to Argentina again at the Maracana Stadium.
The lack of continuity in Brazil’s national team setup makes Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, one of the favorites to defend their Copa America title next summer in the US.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina is on a run
Argentina on the other hand has been unstoppable since the group stage loss to Saudi Arabia in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Lionel Messi guided the Argentine team to their first World Cup title since 1986, beating some fantastic teams in the form of Netherlands, Croatia, and Kylian Mbappe’s France in the final. The Argentine team has been oozing in confidence since becoming the World Champions, only losing a single match since then. Messi’s Argentina sit at the top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers with 15 points from six matches, only losing to second-placed Uruguay.
Roberto Carlos fires a warning
However, Roberto Carlos has advised the Argentina team against underestimating Brazil, saying he expects Copa America to be a competitive tournament.
“Never underestimate the Brazilian national team, I speak from experience. We’ve got a new manager now and we just need to give him some time to work. We have great players and a good manager, I’m sure Copa America will be competitive and very exciting,” Carlos told Mirror Sport.
Despite Roberto Carlos’ confidence, things do not look to good for Brazil ahead of the South American tournament. The injury to Neymar puts the Brazilian talisman in doubt for next year’s tournament. Young talents such as Vinicius Junior or Rodrygo have failed to get going in national colours, leading to a goal dearth. Brazil are nearly not scoring enough in recent times. Diniz will have to figure out a way to make his team score more goals.