‘Very hard blow’ – Messi Breaks Silence after Argentina’s Shock Defeat to Saudi Arabia in 2022 WC
Millions of football fans across the globe were left in shock on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia, one of the lowest ranking teams of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar dislodged Argentina, one of the favourite teams to win the tournament.
The Argentines’ 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Saudis at the Lusail Stadium has been recorded as one of the greatest upsets of all-time in football history. This has now put Argentina, who prior to the match had not been beaten in 36 matches and boast of a star-studded squad including one of the greatest players of all time, in grave danger of missing out on making the knockout rounds of the competition.
Breaking his silence following the humiliating defeat, the team’s skipper, Lionel Messi gave an honest verdict of the game and called it a hard blow; at the same time rallied his team to make a positive comeback.
“The truth? Dead. It’s a very hard blow because we did not expect to start in this way. “We expected to get the three points that would have given us calmness. Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for what is coming, we have to win, and it depends on us,” said Messi in the post-match press conference.
He added: “There are no excuses. We are going to be more united than ever. This group is strong, and we have shown it. It is a situation that we haven’t gone through in a long time. Now we have to show that this is a real group. “It’s a painful loss but we have to continue to trust ourselves. We must turn the page and move on. We have to analyse what went wrong. Focus on the positives and turn our attention to the game against Mexico.”
The afternoon began with no sign of an upset for Argentina as Messi gave them the lead from the penalty spot in the 9th minute. The South American giants dominated possession in the first half but completely lost the plot in the second half after conceding two goals in quick succession after play resumed.
The defeat led to a wild celebration amongst thousands of fans of the Green Falcons as the La Albiceleste’s supporters bow in silence.
“This is football. Sometimes things are completely crazy,” Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard said. “All the stars aligned for us,” added Renard, who won the African Cup of Nations as coach of Zambia in 2012 and then repeated the feat with Ivory Coast in 2015.
In Saudi Arabia, King Salman announced a snap public holiday for workers in the public and private sectors, as well as students in the kingdom, in celebration of the win.
The announcement follows a similar move by Cameroon during the 1990 World Cup in Italy, when the unfancied African team beat Argentina and also declared a public holiday the following day.
What’s next for the Argentines?
Argentina will next face Mexico on Saturday, 26th November, and knock horns with Poland in their final group stage match on Wednesday, 30th at the Lusail Stadium.