SAO PAULO (AP) — If Argentina and Lionel Messi need sympathy, they won’t find much from Brazil.
The Argentines are in danger of missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 1970. Five-time champion Brazil has already qualified for the tournament in Russia.
Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus says “if they are where they are, it’s because of what they have done. Of course, you talk about Messi, one of the best players soccer has ever had. But we have to think about only ourselves.”
South America wraps up regional qualifying on Tuesday. Only Brazil is in. Three other teams will gain automatic berths, and one more will qualify for a playoff next month.
Most eyes are on Argentina’s match in Ecuador. Argentina needs a victory to get at least a playoff spot. Any other result puts it in jeopardy.