World News

Video shows how Brazil amused themselves after Argentina debacle

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
They'll need to take another squad photo when the game is rearranged
They'll need to take another squad photo when the game is rearranged / Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

One normal day of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying is all we ask for. Alas, it will never happen.

But even by South America's impressive standards of surrealism, Brazil vs Argentina on Sunday night was extremely bizarre.

Prior to kick off there had been a public dispute over the involvement of four Premier League players in the match; Aston Villa pair Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez as well as Tottenham duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso.

The foursome were accused of failing to declare they had travelled from England to the country, in an attempt to avoid a 14-day mandatory quarantine period.

After an investigation they seemed to be in the clear, with Romero and Lo Celso starting the game and the other two players named on the bench. However, in some of the most extraordinary footbaling scenes in recent memory, the contest was suspended after Brazilian health officials invaded the pitch and attempted to detain the Premier League foursome.

Soon after, Argentina returned to the dressing room and did not re-emerge, with the accused players managing to avoid deportation after intervention from the Argentinian ambassador.

This left Brazil in a tricky spot.

They had a captive audience watching at home; a bag of balls and two goals; and also had a game against Peru to prepare for on Friday.

The solution was simple really - conduct a training session that would be broadcasted around the world.

They had a lot to live up to, though, as Lionel Messi - who attempted to act as a mediator earlier in the day - scored an inch-perfect free kick during the warm up.

Brazil just about managed to top that with a moment of magic that came from an unlikely source.

After Ederson and Alisson were not permitted to travel by there clubs, Atletico Mineiro goalkeeper Everson received his first call-up to the national squad for these set of fixtures. He may not have earned his maiden cap but he did make a big impact, scoring a wonder strike while playing at centre-back during the impromptu training session.

After making an intelligent interception he played a swift one-two before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top right corner.

The celebration was even better with his red-bib wearing teammates - including Neymar - mobbing him before he made a love heart sign to the sparse crowd.

It was a great moment that concluded an utterly ridiculous series of events in Sao Paulo.