Alves: We don't fear Messi

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Brazil defender Dani Alves insists his team cannot fear Lionel Messi when they take on Argentina in World Cup qualifying.

The rivals meet in Belo Horizonte on Thursday in contrasting positions in CONMEBOL qualifying.

Brazil are flying atop the table after just one loss in 10 qualifiers, while Argentina are battling in sixth.

Facing former Barcelona team-mate Messi, Juventus defender Alves said Brazil needed to avoid fearing the attacking maestro.

"Fear doesn't exist in football. There's a mutual respect," he told a news conference on Tuesday.

"It's the same that there's an overall respect for Messi and for the Argentina national team.

"It's just like I believe that there's respect for our players and for our national team as well.

"So we are going to look to have a good game and continue our growth within the competition no matter who is on the other team."