Given the evident danger posed by Lionel Messi, Rodrygo acknowledges that Brazil must approach their upcoming World Cup qualification match against Argentina with caution.
The Selecao will face their traditional rivals at the Maracanã on Tuesday. Brazil has faced challenges in finding form during the qualification process for the 2026 World Cup, while Argentina recently experienced an unexpected loss to Uruguay.
Messi will want to go out on a high in what will be his last competitive match of 2023, with Real Madrid forward Rodrygo revealing how Brazil will tackle the challenge of containing the all-time great: “I think they are going to respect us, just as we are going to respect them. There is no way to deny it. He [Messi] is one of the best players in the history of football and we will have to be very careful with him.”
With Neymar and Vinicius Junior sidelined due to injury, Rodrygo recognizes the importance of contributing to Brazil’s attack to compensate for their absence. But, in the absence of the team’s all-time leading scorer and his Real Madrid teammate, the responsibility falls on Rodrygo and others to provide the necessary attacking impetus against Argentina.
Rodrygo added on that challenge: “I think they are going to expect more from me. We are sad for Vini, my national team and club team-mate.”
Neymar is currently recovering from an ACL injury, which is expected to keep him sidelined for several months. Meanwhile, Vinicius is dealing with a thigh injury that may require up to 10 weeks of recovery time. The absence of these key players poses a significant challenge for Brazil, emphasizing the need for other members, including Rodrygo, to step up in their absence.