Down but not out. That is the message from captain Lionel Messi, who has called on Argentina to remain united following their convincing defeat to South American rivals Brazil on Thursday.
Argentina’s winless run extended to four World Cup qualifying matches after suffering a humbling 3-0 defeat against CONMEBOL leaders Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
Not even the return of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi was enough as Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho put the visitors to the sword, with Argentina languishing outside the qualification places.
“We did not expect this result,” Messi told TyC Sports as the attention now turns to Tuesday’s hosting of Colombia.
“Up to the first goal the match was even, we were doing well.
“It’s difficult when you get into these dynamics, in this situation, the minimum is you get down and everything turns out to be more difficult.
“Within all the bad things and the s*** we are in, we still depend on ourselves.
“If we defeat Colombia we get into the fight again, all the teams are near.
“But it’s true we are aware and we know that this is not the way to do things. We have to change a lot to defeat Colombia.”
Argentina are sixth in the standings with 16 points from 11 matches.
Messi and Co. are already eight points adrift of Brazil and a point behind fifth-placed Chile as pressure mounts on Edgardo Bauza.
Messi added via ESPN: “We need to be strong and get out of this situation.
“Today we have to be more united than ever. We all want the same thing: to qualify for the World Cup.”