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.
“We have to think about Colombia now and not repeat the mistakes we have been doing.
“Within all of the bad, the good thing is that we depend on ourselves, but we cannot give away more points.”
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.”