Looking down at the ground. This was the withdrawal of the players from the Argentine National Team after the tough 2-1 defeat suffered in the World Cup debut against Saudi Arabia.
The players leaving the locker room showed the difficult moment that the Argentine team experienced in Lusail, the stadium to which they must return this Saturday to play the qualification against Mexico. Holders and substitutes came out with grim and bitter expressions.
The Saudis came out first. Wide smiles, selfies and Arabic music on the portable speakers. We had to wait several minutes for the Argentines to leave the locker room where they chewed up the hard defeat. In the first batch, among others, came out Rodrigo De Paul, Lautaro Martinez, Leandro Paredes, Paulo Dybala and Nicolás Otamendi. Later Julián Álvarez and Franco Armani did the same and later angel di mariawho circulated quickly and avoided making statements to the press.
Who did stop to talk was Emiliano “Dibu” Martinez. When asked about her feelings after the match, she stated: “Obviously, she started well and won, as we wanted. Later, we couldn’t find the second goal due to millimeter passes… They had a very high line. And in the second half they came out to press a little more. They found a goal from a second play that passes between the post and the net, and then, in a burst of 5 minutes, they made the second. Then we got a bit desperate and we didn’t play as clear as we do and we lost”.
Then, when asked if they were surprised by the Saudis’ tactical approach, he said: “No, we knew. We had practiced everything, but sometimes we hit a lot of balls from behind and it was not what we wanted. Obviously defeat is going to hurt today, as it hurts all Argentines. But if we want to become world champions, it’s good to have a stumble today. A stumble is not a fall. We know that tomorrow we will have two finals”.
Finally, he closed with a message addressed to the Argentine fans: “It’s beautiful to come and see 90,000 people in the stadium and the flags. We are going to give you joy (…) Today the anxiety and the way we played gave us a bucket of cold water that we are not going to do on Saturday ”.
Lionel Scaloni’s Argentine national team unexpectedly lost their undefeated record of 36 games today, losing 2-1 in their World Cup debut in Qatar against Saudi Arabia. “Dead, it is a very hard blow, we did not expect to start like this”, were the first expressions expressed by the captain, Lionel Messiafter the meeting.
In its match against the Saudis, Argentina sought to match the highest unbeaten record of a national team in football history, which belongs to Italy with 37 between October 2018 and October 2021 (DT Roberto Mancini). He had not lost since July 2, 2019when it was defeated in Belo Horizonte by Brazil for the Copa América.
Until this Tuesday, the national team had chained 25 wins and 11 draws that allowed him to cut a 28-year drought without titles, when in 2021 won the America’s Cup after beating Brazil in the final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Later, crowned the Finalissima against ItalyEuropean headline, at the mythical Wembley in London.
Regarding the contest against Saudi Arabia, Messi added: “We had worked on it, that’s why we had many situations of goals that annulled us. Maybe We couldn’t find the right moment not to fall into the trap, they do very well to throw the line and stop”. And he reflected:It is a situation that we never had to live with our group, it has been a long time since we had to experience such a hard blow. We will have to show that we are a real group”.