The Barcelona star was anxious to make his first appearance in South America’s notoriously demanding competition, but a flooded pitch means he must wait another 24 hours
Even at the tender age of 23, Neymar has already achieved spectacular numbers with the Brazil national team. The Barcelona star has rushed to 67 caps, and has the honour of wearing the captain’s armband after coach Dunga gave him the job after the 2014 World Cup.
But there is one competition that the former Santos wonderkid has yet to experience; and thanks to a torrential downpour in Buenos Aires his World Cup qualifying debut will have to wait a little longer.
The Argentina-Brazil derby, scheduled for Thursday, was pushed back 24 hours after officials correctly ruled that play was impossible. See for yourself what conditions were like at the Estadio Monumental
While his Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, to name one example, has battled through two entire Conmebol campaigns, Neymar is yet to appear in a single match.
The forward made his Brazil debut in 2010 under Mano Menezes immediately after the World Cup in South Africa, but the nation’s hosting duties in 2014 meant three years of friendlies while the rest of the continent battled it out.
The Selecao’s first two clashes this time round were also marked by their captain’s absence, as he completed the last games of a suspension picked up at the Copa America. Results were mixed, with a defeat to Chile and win over Venezuela proving the competitive spirit necessary in each and every qualifier.
Games at altitude, in intense tropical heat, endless journeys and incredibly hostile crowds; Neymar, you’re going to love Conmebol qualifiers.