Argentina captain Lionel Messi has declared that the team’s 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in Tuesday’s 2022 World Cup clash is a heavy blow but that they won’t give up.
Messi’s converted penalty gave Argentina the lead before two second-half goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari helped Saudi pull off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
“It’s a very heavy blow, a defeat that hurts, but we must continue to have confidence in ourselves,” Messi said after Argentina crashed to a stunning 2-1 loss in Group C.
“This group is not going to give up. We will try to beat Mexico,” he added.
“We know that Saudi Arabia is a team with good players, who move the ball around well and play a high line,” said Messi.
“We worked on that but we rushed it a bit. At 2-1 we got disorganised, we lost our performance level and started desperately putting the ball into the middle.”
“There are no excuses, we’re going to be more united than ever before,” he said.
“This group is strong and has shown it before. We had not been in this situation for a long time. Now we must show that this is a true group.”
Argentina will play Mexico on saturday and Poland the following wednesday in their remaining two group games.
“This is the time to stick together, to turn the page and not think about what happened,” said Messi.
“We always said we were going to (try to) win every game and now more than ever.”