The next match at Emirates Stadium will be the international friendly between Brazil and Argentina, on Sunday, September 3, kicking off at 4pm.

It will be the first time the two teams have ever played each other on English soil.

"We are honoured to be hosting the game between Brazil and Argentina at Emirates Stadium," Arsenal Managing Director Keith Edelman said when the fixture was announced. "It's a compliment to both our Club and our new stadium that we have been approached to stage such a high profile match between two of the most prestigious national teams in the world.

"I understand that both countries will be fielding their strongest possible line-ups and therefore we are all looking forward to witnessing a competitive match including many of the world's best players."

Although it will be the first international match staged at Emirates Stadium, it is by no means the first that Arsenal have hosted. Highbury staged many international matches, the most memorable of which was England's game against Italy on November 14, 1934. A friendly in name only, the bad-tempered affair became known as the Battle of Britain, and was notable for the fact that Arsenal supplied seven players to the England team that day - which remains a record. England won 3-2.

Arsenal also hosted a Brazilian XI for a friendly in 1965, which the Gunners won 2-0 thanks to two goals from Jon Sammels.

Tickets are still available for what is sure to be an unforgettable occasion on Sunday week. Ticket details are at the foot of the page:

The two South American giants have won the World Cup seven times between them and produced arguably the two greatest footballers who ever lived in Pele and Diego Maradona.

The rivalry between the two countries remains as intense as ever. One of the biggest local derbies in world football, there have been numerous eventful clashes between the two sides through the years. In fact the two nations did not play against each other for ten years following a particularly bad-tempered South American Championship Match in 1946 in which Argentine captain Jose Salomon suffered a double leg break which ended his career.

Further controversy followed at the 1978 World Cup, when Argentina needed to beat Peru by four goals to reach the final on goal difference at Brazil's expense.

Argentina, who had scored just six goals in the tournament until that point, beat Peru, whose goalkeeper was born in Argentina, by six goals to nil to reach the final, where they beat Holland 3-1.

Brazil took their revenge at the next World Cup, when they beat Argentina 3-1 in the second group stage. Zico, Serginho and Junior scored for Brazil, while Ramon Diaz netted a consolation for Argentina, but most of the headlines after the game were reserved for Diego Maradona, after he was sent off for kicking Batista.

The two teams met again in the 1990 World Cup, with Argentina striker Claudio Caniggia scoring the only goal in the second round match, after Brazil had dominated proceedings. That game was overshadowed by accusations that Argentine defender Miguel di Lorenzo had spiked a water bottle given to Brazilian defender Branco during the match, but di Lorenzo has always denied the allegations.

The latest meeting between the teams came in the Confederations Cup Final in June 2005, when Brazil triumphed 4-1 with Adriano (two), Kaka and Ronaldinho on target for the Brazilians in Frankfurt, Germany. 

The all-time head to head record between the two countries is incredibly close, with Argentina edging it by 34 wins to 33.

Argentina were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup in the Quarter-Finals to host nation Germany. After an impressive group stage, including a fantastic 6-0 trouncing of Serbia & Montenegro, Argentina were installed as tournament favourites. But Germany eliminated them in the last eight stage, after a dramatic penalty shoot-out in which Jens Lehmann saved two spot kicks.

Manager Jose Pekerman tended his resignation after the final whistle, and current Boca Juniors manager Alfio Basile has since been named as his permanent replacement.

The current squad is packed with creative talent. Forwards Hernan Crespo, Carlos Tevez, Javier Saviola and Lionel Messi all starred at the World Cup, while midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme is well known to Gunners fans after his performances for Villarreal in last season's Champions League.

Two Argentinians have represented Arsenal. Nelson Vivas was at the Club between 1997 and 2000 and made 69 appearances for Arsène Wenger's side, scoring once.

Fabian Caballero also wore the red and white during 1998/99, but appeared just three times.

Five times World Champions Brazil also have a new coach, after they too exited the 2006 World Cup at the Quarter-Final stage. Former midfield linchpin Dunga, who captained the team to the 1994 World Cup, has taken over from Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Thierry Henry's second half goal for France in the Quarter-Final knocked Brazil out of the 2006 tournament, after the pre-tournament favourites won their group stage.

During the tournament Ronaldo became the all-time leading scorer in World Cup Finals matches with 15 goals. 

Along with Kaka, Ronaldinho and Adriano, Ronaldo made up the 'Fab Four' attacking threat in the Brazilian side, with Gunners midfielder Gilberto often tucked in behind them.

Gilberto has 41 caps for Brazil, and has played more than 150 times for the Gunners. He is the fourth Brazilian to play for Arsenal following left-backs Silvinho and Juan, and midfielder Edu, now at Valencia.

Pele, who scored more than 1,000 goals in his professional career, visited Highbury for Arsenal's last game of the season in 1981 against Aston Villa (a 2-0 win).


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22 Aug 2006