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H. Renard

Saudi Arabia manager Herve Renard questions Lionel Messi's motivation after historic Argentina upset

4:26 am AEDT 23/11/22
Messi Saudi Arabia World Cup
Saudi Arabia boss Herve Renard commented on Lionel Messi and Argentina after Tuesday's shock World Cup win.
  • Argentina lost 2-1
  • Renard said Saudia Arabia made history
  • Questioned Messi's motivation

WHAT HAPPENED? Renard masterminded one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history on Tuesday, as his Saudi Arabia side beat Argentina 2-1 in Qatar. Saudi Arabia currently sit outside the top 50 in FIFA's latest rankings and Renard feels his team's lowly status may have helped when it came to taking on Lionel Messi and Co.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Imagine Lionel Messi is playing versus Saudi Arabia. He will say they have to start well and win but you know the motivation is not like it would be playing Brazil," he told reporters. "This is normal. We have made history for Saudi football and it will stay for ever, that is most important, but we also need to look forward because we still have two very difficult games to play."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saudi Arabia ended the Albiceleste's 36-game unbeaten run which stretched back to July 2019. The result has also seen Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud announce a public holiday on Wednesday to celebrate the victory.


DID YOU KNOW? Saudi Arabia became the first non-European team to beat Argentina at the World Cup since Cameroon in 1990, with Argentina winning 13 such games in a row before Tuesday. They are the first Asian team to beat Argentina in World Cup history at the fifth attempt.

WHAT NEXT? Both teams return to action on Saturday at the World Cup. Argentina will aim to get back on track against Mexico, while Saudi Arabia face another icon of the game as they take on Robert Lewandowski's Poland.