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

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Saudi Arabia dealt a heavy blow to the defending Copa America champions on Tuesday with a thrilling 2-1 win over Argentina who captains Lionel Messi he says he left the team feeling “dead”.

The impressive victory over one of the world cup favorites it came early in the second half when Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari scored two goals in a span of five minutes. Despite a goal from Messi in the 10th minute, Argentina were never able to regain momentum.

Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia is congratulated after scoring his team's second goal during the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia is congratulated after scoring his team’s second goal during the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

“The truth? Dead,” Messi said after the game when asked how the team felt. “It’s a very hard blow because we didn’t expect to start this way.”

WORLD CUP 2022: SAUDI ARABIA ACHIEVES SHOCKING ANNOYING ABOVE ARGENTINA

“Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for what is coming, we have to win and it is up to us,” she added. via ESPN.

“There are no excuses. We are going to be more united than ever. This group is strong and we have shown it. It is a situation that we have not been through for a long time. Now we have to show that this is a real group.”

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

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

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Tuesday’s match is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, and for Messi, he is probably hoping to avoid heartbreak in what will be his last World Cup.

“Surely this is my last World Cup,” he told reporters during a news conference on Monday. “My last chance to win it.”

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Argentina will return to the Lusail Stadium on Saturday for their second match of the group stage, this time against Mexico, ranked 19th in 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 November 22, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.

Lionel Messi of Argentina during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.
(Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“This group has always stood out for its uniformity, its strength and it is time to be more united than ever,” Messi said on Tuesday. “We have to go back to our training base and try to win the next game.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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