Brazilian media have hailed Fabinho after he 'commanded the midfield' against Argentina and PSG star Lionel Messi. Liverpool’s midfield enforcer Fabinho shone against Messi as South American rivals Brazil and Argentina played out a 0-0 in South American World Cup qualifying.
While games between Brazil and Argentina are typically renowned for their attacking flair, the meeting between the two South American rivals on Tuesday night was a grinding battle. Both sides eventually scrapped a 0-0 draw at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario. It was the defensive stars who made headlines rather than the more flamboyant players such as PSG's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr..
Fabinho was a standout performer on the night after he seized his chance to stake a claim for a starting spot following Casemiro's suspension. With Manchester United’s Fred in midfield, Fabinho shut down opposition attacks and blunted Messi's impact.
This comes after the PSG star notably led Argentina to beat Brazil and win Copa America glory in the summer.
It was therefore no surprise that Fabinho received lots of praise and admiration after the game. Sports Witness posted a headline where it suggested the Liverpool star "nullified Messi". The report stated that Fabinho made six tackles on a night where he "commanded the midfield."
Globo Esporte also gave Fabinho the joint-highest post-match rating in their coverage, with his 7/10 score only equaled by his midfield partner Fred.
Both sides have already qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. While Brazil are sitting pretty at the top of the table, Argentina are in a strong position to finish second place in the CONMEBOL qualifying group.
PSG unhappy with Messi's recent presence in Argentina squad
In recent weeks, Messi's decision to join the Argentina squad has upset the higher-ups at PSG who are worried about the star's fitness and current health. Although the star missed PSG's last two games due to injury, he made it to South America to play in Argentina's games against Uruguay and Brazil.
PSG director Leonardo recently spoke about Messi's situation to the press:
ALSO READArticle Continues below
"We do not agree to let a player go by selection who, for us, is not in physical condition or who is in the rehabilitation phase. It is not logical, and these types of situations deserve a real agreement with FIFA."