South American Smackdown: Argentina vs. Brazil

South American Smackdown: Argentina vs. Brazil

Today I am putting to an end the age old battle of which country is better: Brazil or Argentina.  I would, however, love to hear your opinions on the matter as well!

Maradona vs. Pele

This is my favourite battle in the world.  I love how if you go to either Brazil of Argentina and ask who is the greatest footballer ever they just look at you as if you’ve come from mars and have just asked the stupidest question ever.  “Maradona” “Pele” they all say with a tone hinting at your stupidity.  But let’s face the facts, Pele was better.  And how can someone justify cheating to win the World Cup by saying that it was god’s hand?  No it wasn’t it was yours.

Score: Brazil 1 – Argentina 0

Maradona is everywhere… he even watches your children as they play

 

Iguazu Falls

I wrote an article on this, so you already know my opinion on the matter, based on the fact that the article was called “Dear Argentina, the Brazilian Side is Better.”  However, if you look at the falls themselves, most of them fall on the side of Argentina.  Essentially, from the Brazilian side you are looking over at the falls coming down on the Argentinean side, so I have to be fair on this one.  In my article I claimed that the Brazilian side was better, but in reality it’s just the view from the Brazilian side that is better.  That’s like saying one house is nicer than the other because it gets to look at the other house’s beautiful garden.  The falls are essentially on the Argentinean side, Brazilians just get to admire Argentina’s garden.

Score: Brazil 1 – Argentina 1

Part of Iguazu Falls, from the Argentinean side

Women

This is a challenging one.  Both Argentinean and Brazilian women are stunning but in very different ways.  Argentinean women are very well put together and take a lot of pride in their style.  They are very fashion conscious and love dressing in a way that I call “business sexy.”  Brazilian girls, on the other hand are very diverse in their look, but one thing that never changes is that they are 70% legs, curvy, have coco butter skin, and turn heads at a rapid pace.  A good percentage of them could be runway models.  Deciding between these two things is as difficult as deciding who I hate more: the Yankees or the Red Sox.

Score: Brazil 1.5 – Argentina 1.5

Language

Brazilian Portuguese to me, as I’ve mentioned sounded a little bit like drunken Spanish when I first heard it.   As I’ve spent more time in Brazil, however, I have started to pick it up a little bit more, and I absolutely love the language, it has such musical tones to it.  Argentinean Spanish, on the other hand, might be the most fun version of the language to speak.  It is filled great slang and vocabulary nuances, as a Spanish speaker being in Argentina almost transforms the way you speak the language because it is so addictive to play with.  This was a tough decision, but I’m going with Argentina on this one.  You don’t like it?  Make your own contest.

Score: Brazil 1.5 – Argentina 2.5

Scenery

In terms of natural beauty both have plenty to go around, and I guess this one is about as personal a choice as any.  Large parts of Argentina are featured by impressive mountains, glowing lakes, quickly moving rivers and long flowing glaciers.   Brazil is one of the greenest countries in the world, and I don’t mean that in an environmental sense; the country is literally green.   Throw in the beautiful beaches and the lush natural playgrounds of the Pantanal and Amazon Basin and you’ve basically got the perfect mix between Thailand and Costa Rica.  Since I grew up in the mountains, it has always been the coast and the rainforest which has impressed me the most.

Score: Brazil 2.5 – Argentina 2.5

Lush Brazilian coastline

 

Culture

Brazilian culture is a beautiful mosaic of influencing forces.  I’m not sure that there is a culture in the world that has more power than the Brazilian.  You can’t help but want to immerse yourself in the dance, the music and the sheer rhythm of the Brazilian tradition.  The culture of Brazil simply has a way of putting a smile on people’s faces.  On the other hand, although Argentina has developed significant cultural traits – drinking mate, the famous asado, cowboy lifestyle – it really isn’t all to different culturally from the rest of South America.  As one tourist said to me “Argentina thinks it’s in Europe!”  Plus, Argentina seems to think that 80s music is “good.”  Hands down this one goes to the Brazilians.

Score: Brazil 3.5 – Argentina 2.5

Food and Drink

This one was about as difficult for me to decide as the battle between the women.  I really love Brazilian food.  Asides from the great variety, the flavour of the foods is a little bit more powerful than those of their Argentinean counterparts.   As far as drinks are concerned, the national drink, the Capariniha, is as good as any.  However, Argentineans have the great asado which trumps just about any food served in the world (in my meat eater opinion of course).  Add a nice bottle of Malbec wine to the mix and you’ve got yourself a point Argentina.

Score: Brazil 3.5 – Argentina 3.5

Tie Breaker: El Ritmo del La Vida / O Ritmo da Vida

No, I will not leave this as a tie.  I am not that kind of person.  I do not enjoy breaking the hearts of an entire nation desperately hoping to win this battle, but I have to do it.  To settle this, I will talk about the thing I think is most important in a country, the rhythm of life.  I love the rhythm of life in Argentina, it is so laid back and people still take the time to chat with friends.  But in the end the Brazilian rhythm of life is one filled out with some serious soul.  The rhythm of life in Brazil is an easy going laid back vibe back dropped by the beautiful beat of the Samba and dozens of other tones.  The soul of Brazil is undeniable and will draw visitors in and keep them smiling from ear to ear until the moment they leave; that is if they can leave.

The Champion: Brazil

Congradulations Brazil, would you like to make a speech?


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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32 Comments

  1. I wish the slide had Brazil written on it and the seesaw had Argentina written on it… nothing squares off better than playground equipment (though swing vs merrygoround would be epicly better).

    Enjoy your travels man, and be safe.

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    • Hahaha… Oh great call! I should photoshop that in! P.S. I used to stay at accent inn in western canada all the time, and want to note that they have the best room pens in the world, I still write with an accent inn, victoria pen to this day

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  2. And the award for best phrase goes to… “You don’t like it? Make your own contest.” 🙂

    My hubby and I like to play with words and invent our own Spanglish words. We say things like “I’m hambreing” so I know exactly what you meant. Did you know that a few years ago Italian scholars came to Buenos Aires to study the way we speak Spanish and came to the conclusion that porte#os have a similar intonation to Neapolitans?

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    • Hahaha, I love it! I’m habering. I did actually hear about the studies. It is a VERY Italian Dialect, I love it.

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    • My paternal grandparents were from Naples. I visited Buenos Aires in 1995. One of my first observations was that everyone sounded like they were speaking Spanish in a Neapolitan manner including the use of their hands when they talk. I’m not sure we needed scholars to tell us that.

      Anyway, I routinely asked people their heritage. Most Porteños seemed to be at least 1/4 Italian or more by ancestry which isn’t a surprise. This was not a scientific survey.

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  3. I would definitely go to Brazil based on winning the scenery battle. As far as visiting a country that is the most important aspect for me.

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  4. I wonder if @AndiPerullo would agree 🙂 Of course she loves both places. Great assessment – and fun!

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  5. Wow, that’s a big fight you’re joining now!
    I’d go for Brazil 8 x 0 Argentina. 😉

    But in the end of the day we South Americans are all a big family! – and that’s why, we fight like siblings 🙂

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  6. I laughed at your comment on how brazilian portuguese sounds… I’m spanish, and I love how smooth they talk in Brazil! Never thought about it as a “drunk spanish”! 🙂 What’s for sure is that Brazil has way better scenery… they already win by just counting in Fernando de Noronha.

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  7. Ok, so I told you I would think about it and then come back and leave a comment. And honestly, I just don’t think you can compare the 2 countries. It’s like comparing China VS Japan. It’s impossible! At the end of the day, I’m going to go with Argentina, but Brasil will always hold a very special place in my heart.

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  8. OK, I think I have the answer.

    “Argentina” is derived from the Latin “Argentum” which, from memory, means silver.

    Perhaps that says it all.

    She’s destined to always finish second.

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    • hahaha… I love it Ben, and you are right on the derivative of the name… based on the Rio Plata (Silver River)

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      • Just between you and me, though…she’s my South American fave.

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  9. You could close your eyes spin around and pick one and you still would not get an argument from me…..

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  10. I’m from Brasil (There’s no way I can write it with a z…) and lived in Argentina for a while. These are both amazing countries. But you said something important about argentinians: they think they’re europeans, at least the ‘porteños’. So that’s why I’d go with Brasil, because we’re proud of out diversity! So lets all have a caipirinha together 🙂

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    • I am definitely down for a capirinha or 12 🙂

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  11. Is it cheating when you break a rule and the referees do not see it? Or is it simply part of the game? You forgot to mention Maradona’s other goal in that game.

    Outside of football, its a no brainer to me – Argentina wins in a landslide.

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    • Hahaha I think that’s exactly what defines cheating: taking advantage of a situation that allows you and advantage without following the rules. Is it cheating at Vegas to use electronic devices to change the slots if the casino doesn’t find out? Is it cheating if you sleep with another woman as long as your wife doesn’t find out…? haha just sayin’

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  12. Your waterfall photo is amazing!

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  13. Hey, man. Dangerous game you played up there. I liked the comment that compared China and Japan. There is too much emotion when talking about Brazil and Argentina. Remember… you’re writing about Latin countries (emotion is the natural fuel).
    I’m Brazilian, been to Argentina twice (for a month each time) and I think both countries are great, with advantages and disadvantages, things to brag about and hide under the carpet.
    As a Brazilian I would naturally point our qualities and their flaws, but mainly the only one bad thing I think is relevant to say about ‘los hermanos’ is that thet act really pretenciously most of the time, as if they were better South Americans than us. No one is better than anyone else, in my opinion, so that sounds UGLY. Besides that, I’ve been very well hosted and had lots of good moments both times.

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  14. Argentina takes the prize for me. The scenery is so diverse and beautiful (let’s face it, Argentina’s landscape variety and climate variety is WAY ABOVE that of Brazil) , the people are also diverse, friendly and outgoing, the language as they speak it sounds so sexy to the ear, their culture is so interesting and they value other cultures as well. They value friendship and family. I have visited both countries and I have to say Argentina does it for me. Cheers!

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  15. BRAZIL! There’s absolutely no contest for me having spent extensive amounts of time in both countries. There is nothing like Brazil, it made me feel ALIVE. The people, the language, the rhythm as you say… it’s something that you can’t quantify and i pine for the day i return.
    Now if you want Europe and arrogance then by all means pack your bags and head off to Argentina and you shall be well rewarded.

    Have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts!

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  16. I’m an argentinian living in Europe (The Netherlands/Holland) and all I can say is that Argentina and Brazil are two of the most intersting places to visit or live.

    I have never been in Brazil but I’ve got a lot of brazilians friends and I think their country is just amazing. Lot of culture and nice people over there, I agree with this post, maybe I wont like to assume that Brazil is better than Argentina but I think this 2 countries even when they’re two third world-southamerican countries they both are way more (let’s say) “better” than a lot of firts world countries or european countries.

    I really encourage people to go there and see how it is, we don’t live in the jungle and we have a lot of beautiful cities, people and culture to see and I think that north americans and europeans will fall in love with our way of life.

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  17. I love this post, unfortunately I have only been to Brazil and not Argentina! But based on what I’ve heard… Brazil has a more unique culture while Argentina thinks it’s Europe like you said. I can’t wait to visit Argentina in January so I can compare!

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    • Argentina has culture as well. The tango, gauchos, etc. But it definitely feels more European. Both countries are amazing in my opinion. I hope to get back someday soon! Enjoy it for me for the time being!

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      • Bro educate urself before spouting off stereotypical nonsense, I’m Argentine, many of us are 2nd generation Italian, Spanish, german, welsh..we don’t think we are euros but we can’t negate our ancestry..smh..
        Tell Brazil to stop ripping out gaucho culture, what’s next Brazilian tango, the Brazil British Falklands conflict lol

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  18. Brazil a country where you get murdered, robbed and the ugliest women in South America. Corrupt Police, Lynch mobs and ignorant racists. Also per capita the most uneducated people, which means more violence and poverty.

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  19. Yes, we have a unique culture, consisted of many cultures! South Brazil for example has a totally european culture, influenced mainly by the german and italian immigrants that arrived in the XIX and XX centuries. On the other side Bahia has a totally african culture. It’s definitely an amazing diverse country!!!

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  20. Im argentinian and for me it is impossible to compare them, they are really different countries, and also Brazil has a bigger proportion in everything (not just size, population as well)
    But if i had to used the same items, and make a comparison, here it goes:

    IGUAZU FALLS: Argentinian side, properly, is the best one for the same reason you choose them, 80% of them are argentinian. But if you have to make a visit, brazilian side is better for the scenery, but still you are watching argentinian side.

    WOMEN: Tie. Argentinian faces are more beatifull, but Brazilians had more variety(ethnicies) and better bodies. Both are warm, and charismatic ones.

    lANGUAGE: Im going with Brazil, i love how their accent sound, so sweet, it seems like they are singing, although it can be really tiring. By the way, Argentinian accent, is like italian for obvious reasons.

    SCENERY: Brazil could have tropical beaches, but let be honest apart from beaches and jungles, there is not too much variety. Argentina as someone says is really diverse, the pampas are kind of boring i had to admit, but then we have all different weathers, and landscapes as Scandinavia, Switz or Canada, that are pretty unique. Glaciers, jungles, etc.

    CULTURE: Brazil win, by far. As you say, Argentina feels more like Europe, Brazil is another continent, is where all important cultures encounters. In Argentina as much you have just two big ethnicies that contribute to the culture, mostly european (mostly italian and then spanish). But not Brazil, even they had some gaucho and mate culture as well, so you can find every thing there. And in response to “Argentinians feel like europeans”, that’s a lie, but is where most of us come from, so if you had to explain argentinian escense at some point you are gonna mention Europe.

    FOOD AND FOOTBALL

    Im argentinian, so i’m not gonna compare these ones. The best food is the one that taste as home. And in football is an obvious answer, but to be truly honest, i think maradona was way more skillfull, but brazilian selection is the best (can’t argue).

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    • Wow! Most level headed response ever to this article! I can’t disagree with anything you said!

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  21. I’ve been to both countries and I just loved Brazil! Don’t get me wrong, Argentina is amazing, but I was quite disappointed because as an American, It just felt like home more than any other country in the Americas. They look a lot like us, lifestyle is very similar and life quality is about the same as well. Only big difference is language, but Argentina is a very bilingual country and many speak English there too. (However, they can be quite nasty and arrogant sometimes!) So after spending some time in Argentina, I sort of got bored. Of course the country has some breathtaking natural scenery, but culturally, it simply won’t shock you!
    Brazil is COMPLETELY different. It has a very unique and Latin culture that will make you feel like dancing and smiling all the time. People are always friendly and happy and landscapes are beautiful. That’s why I LOVED Brazil, it gave me that cultural shock I was looking for!

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