South America's two greatest footballing powers and fiercest rivals Argentina and Brazil have gone head-to-head on a host of occasions throughout history. Each one can be set in its own particular context with statistics to match, and 5 September's meeting between A Seleção and La Albiceleste is no exception. FIFA.com takes a closer look at the numbers behind the upcoming continental clásico, part of the 15th matchday of South American Zone qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
- The number of times Argentina and Brazil's men's senior sides have met. Brazil currently lead the way with 35 wins to 34 for Argentina, with 24 draws, while the Argentinians have the edge on goals scored: 149 to 145.
- The number of European-based Brazilian and Argentinian players available for selection for this game who share a club side: Lionel Messi and Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona); Carlos Tevez and Robinho (Manchester City); Fernando Gago and Kaka (Real Madrid); Javier Mascherano and Lucas (Liverpool). Inter Milan also have a vested interest in proceedings, with Auriverde stars Lucio, Julio Cesar and Maicon sharing a dressing room with La Albiceleste's Diego Milito and Javier Zanetti. Over at AS Roma, meanwhile, Argentinian defender Nicolas Burdisso could clash with club-mates Juan or Julio Baptista.
- The meetings between Diego Maradona and Dunga during their playing days: three at national-team level and six with club sides. El Pelusa has the upper hand with six wins, one draw and two defeats.
- On Saturday 5 September 2009 it will be eight years to the day since Argentina and Brazil first met on Argentinian soil in a FIFA World Cup qualifier. In 2001 Marcelo Bielsa's Albiceleste charges overcame Luiz Felipe Scolari's Canarinha 2-1, though on another fateful 5 September, this time in 1993, the Argentinians lost 5-0 at home to Colombia - their one and so far only home defeat in FIFA World Cup qualifying.
- The teams' number of combined FIFA World Cup triumphs, Brazil leading the way with five successes to Argentina's two.
- The previous meetings between Argentina and Brazil in the city of Rosario, with the first of these coming in the Copa America on 16 August 1975, a game which Brazil won 1-0. The second, meanwhile, was on 18 June 1978 at that year's FIFA World Cup in Argentina and ended goalless.
- The number of previous South American Zone FIFA World Cup qualifying encounters between the pair on Argentinian soil. Both ended in victory for La Albiceleste, 2-1 in 2001 and 3-1 in 2005, and both came in Buenos Aires' Estadio Monumental. Zanetti and Juan are the only players in their respective matchday squads for both of those games who could potentially be involved on Saturday.
- The number of times Argentina have played a home qualifier outside the Monumental stadium over the last 12 years. This isolated encounter was on 16 November 1997 in France 1998 qualifying, with Argentina and Colombia sharing a 1-1 draw at Boca Juniors' La Bombonera. That game marked Juan Roman Riquelme's full international debut for an Albiceleste side then coached by Daniel Passarella.
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