Lionel Messi, the captain of the Argentine national team, justified the 0-2 defeat against Uruguay at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, within the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. Messi commented after the match, "I prefer not to say what I think, but these young players need to learn from the experienced ones because these Classic matches have always been intense, but with respect."
He added, "It was tough for us to play; they are a strong, fast, and physical team. We couldn't find a way to get the ball and possess it for a long time." Despite this, Messi refrained from exaggerating the situation and indicated that he already expected this to happen sooner or later (losing after a series of consecutive victories) and that the team should focus on facing Brazil.
He said, "We lost, it's a test. We have to rise now and play a good match against Brazil. We need to turn the page, rise, and playing in Maracanã is not an easy task."
Argentina suffered its first defeat in 2023 and fell for the first time in the qualifiers but continues to top the table with 12 points out of 15 possible, followed by Uruguay with 10 points.