AP Picture/Ebrahim Noroozi
Lionel Messi is seeking to transfer on after Argentina suffered a stunning 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday on the 2022 World Cup.
“There aren’t any excuses,” Messi told reporters after the match. “We’re going to be extra united than ever. This group is powerful, and now we have proven it. It’s a state of affairs that we have not gone by way of in a very long time. Now now we have to indicate that this can be a actual group.”
Argentina entered the day as one of many match’s prime contenders after going unbeaten in 36 straight matches. The squad is No. 3 in FIFA’s world rankings, whereas Saudi Arabia is the World Cup’s second-lowest-ranked crew at No. 53.
It arrange one of many greatest upsets within the sport’s historical past.
Messi opened the scoring on a penalty within the tenth minute, however Argentina struggled to benefit from alternatives for the rest of the match. Saudi Arabia took simply three photographs, two on web, however made them rely with a pair of targets within the second half.
“It is a very laborious blow as a result of we didn’t count on to start out on this method,” Messi stated.
La Albiceleste nonetheless can overcome the opening loss with upcoming matches in opposition to Mexico and Poland, however it is going to be an uphill battle to advance out of the group stage. One other loss would virtually definitely remove the crew, whereas a draw could possibly be harmful relying on what occurs within the different group matches.
The final time Argentina failed to succeed in the knockout stage of a World Cup was 2002, earlier than Messi was on the roster.
Messi has led the crew to a World Cup closing and Copa America title, so this loss marks a low level within the profession of one of many biggest gamers of all time.