Lionel Messi’s Argentina must forget their wounded pride after a stunning loss to Saudi Arabia. Instead, they must draw on the fighting spirit of their similar 1990 predecessors if they are to win the World Cup for the third time.
Messi’s fifth attempt to match Diego Maradona for immortality among Argentines by winning soccer’s most coveted award could not have started worse, with Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the Saudis providing one of the tournament’s biggest upsets.
He and his inconsolable team can still find solace in the 32-year-old’s World Cup in Italy when Argentina lost to Cameroon. But they won the final.
“Can we still win? Pablo Zabaleta (former Argentina defender) said it was possible to win the tournament citing the 1990 run. However, the South Americans lost the final to West Germany.
“There is still much to be done”.
After losing their streak of 36 consecutive games, the Argentine players looked traumatized as scouts cheered them on.
Once the dust settled, Argentina’s determination returned and they set their sights on two great Group C games against Mexico and, on occasion, Poland.
Messi, 35, said: “Now is a good time for us to be together more than ever and show our true power,” in the captain’s call to arms. It’s our responsibility to rectify what we did wrong.