World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi says Argentina feels ‘lifeless’ after stunning loss to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia dealt a large blow to the defending Copa America champions on Tuesday with an exhilarating 2-1 victory over Argentina that captain Lionel Messi says left the group feeling “lifeless.” 

The stunning victory over one of many World Cup favorites got here early within the second half when Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari scored two targets inside a five-minute span. Regardless of a objective by Messi within the tenth minute, Argentina was by no means capable of regain momentum. 

Saudi Arabia’s Salem Al-Dawsari is congratulated after scoring his aspect’s 2nd objective through the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia on the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. 
(AP Photograph/Jorge Saenz)

“The reality? Lifeless,” Messi stated after the match when requested how the group felt. “It is a very onerous blow as a result of we didn’t count on to start out on this method.”

WORLD CUP 2022: SAUDI ARABIA PULLS OFF SHOCKING UPSET OVER ARGENTINA

“Issues occur for a cause. We have now to organize for what’s coming, now we have to win, and it is determined by us,” he added, through ESPN.

“There aren’t any excuses. 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’ve not gone via in a very long time. Now now we have to indicate that this can be a actual group.” 

Lionel Messi, of Argentina, drives the ball during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar group C between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Lusail, Qatar. 

Lionel Messi, of Argentina, drives the ball through the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar group C between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Lusail, Qatar. 
(Florencia Tan Jun/PxImages/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photos)

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Tuesday’s match is thought to be one of many largest upsets in World Cup historical past, and for Messi, he’s probably hoping to keep away from heartbreak in what can be his final World Cup. 

“Absolutely that is my final World Cup,” he instructed reporters throughout a press convention Monday. “My final alternative to win it.” 

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Argentina will return to Lusail Stadium on Saturday for his or her second group stage match, this time in opposition to Mexico, ranked No. 19 within the FIFA rankings. 

Lionel Messi, of Argentina, during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on Nov. 22, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. 

Lionel Messi, of Argentina, through the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on Nov. 22, 2022 in Lusail Metropolis, Qatar. 
(Catherine Ivill/Getty Photos)

“This group at all times stood out for its evenness, its power, and it’s time to be extra united than ever,” Messi stated Tuesday. “We have now to return to our coaching base and attempt to win the following sport.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.