Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari predicts that his team would face archrival Argentina in the World Cup final if the host nation progresses that far. Depending on how the group stages pan out, Brazil could only meet Argentina as early as the semifinal, but if both countries win their respective groups, as expected, then they wouldn’t be in line to square off until the July 13 final.
“From our analysis, the final we see happening is Brazil on one side and Argentina on the other,” Scolari said at the team’s training camp outside Rio de Janeiro. “Hopefully that will be the final. It would be a South American final, with great players, a lot of quality.” He added: “I don’t want to see Argentina being eliminated in the first round or the second round. I want to see Argentina playing its soccer as usual.”
Scolari, who coached Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, reminded the press that Brazil has to make it to the final, first. “I have to get Brazil to the final,” he said. “After that, whichever team gets there, it won’t really matter. I have to make sure my team is in the final.”
Brazil and Argentina have faced each other four times in World Cups, with Brazil winning 2-1 in the second round in 1974 and 3-1 in the second round in 1982. The rivals also drew 0-0 in the second round in 1978, when Argentina hosted and won the tournament. Argentina’s only World Cup win against Brazil came in Italy in 1990, when Diego Maradona and Claudio Caniggia were the inspiration behind a 1-0 win.