During the World Cup, a chant has been heard by Saudi Arabian supporters—and even some Brazilians—in the fan parks and streets of Doha.
Argentina and Lionel Messi are under pressure to play Mexico at the World Cup
Messi is missing. We dislocated his eye! They sing in Arabic and use a slang term that means to humiliate someone.
After a humiliating 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia, Messi and his Argentina squad are humiliated, putting their participation in the competition in grave peril. Argentina must to respond quickly against Mexico on Saturday, or else a humiliating early departure is in store.
From 2014 to 2016, Gerardo Martino served as the president of his home Argentina. During that period, his team lost the Copa America final in back-to-back seasons. Now that Martino is in charge of Mexico, he hopes to lead the group into the round of 16 and beyond, maybe at Argentina’s expense.
As a matter of fact, Mexico has infamously dropped its opening match of the knockout stage in each of the previous seven World Cups, twice to Argentina in 2006 and 2010. Even though the tournament has only been going for seven days, the teams’ clash this time takes place during the group stage and already seems like a make-or-break situation for Argentina.
Before the Saudis’ rally at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday, Lionel Scaloni had not suffered a defeat as Argentina’s head coach. It will be interesting to watch how he handles this situation.
Will he provide the same players another chance to redeem themselves? Or did he see enough negatives in the first game of the group to feel the need to alter his starting lineup? Cristian Romero, a center defender, Nahuel Molina, and Nicolás Tagliafico, full backs, and midfielders Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes appear to be the most vulnerable. Even if he might be used differently, Messi will undoubtedly remain in the starting lineup.
In their three World Cup appearances, Mexico had never defeated Argentina, and Martino’s greatest loss as Mexico coach came at the hands of his nation. When Lautaro Martnez scored a hat trick in a 4-0 victory, it was in September of this year.
Any victory for Argentina on Saturday would be welcome back at Lusail Stadium, the venue for the December 18 World Cup final. Any team that was planning that far in advance would be foolish.