Messi says Argentina have 'no excuse' after shocking Saudi Arabia loss

Lionel Messi admits Argentina have ‘no excuses’ after Saudi Arabia came from behind to claim a famous World Cup victory… as he insists they ‘need to get back to who we are’ after their 36-game unbeaten run crashed to an end

  • Saudi Arabia beat Argentina 2-1 in one of the World Cup’s biggest ever shocks 
  • Lionel Messi opened the score though Argentina had three goals ruled offside 
  • Saudi Arabia scored twice to stun one of the tournament favourites Argentina
  • Messi says Argentina have ‘no excuses’ and have to ‘go back’ to who they are
  • Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for all the latest World Cup news here
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

A frustrated Lionel Messi has admitted that Argentina can have ‘no excuses’ after falling victim to one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.

Saudi Arabia came from behind to claim a famous 2-1 victory over the South American nation – who have been widely regarded as one of the strong favourites to lift the trophy in Qatar next month.

Now they are in need of a positive result against Mexico to avoid being at risk of the unthinkable scenario where they fail to make the Round of 16.

Lionel Messi and Argentina suffered one of the most stunning World Cup defeats in history

Saudi Arabia came from behind to claim their first World Cup victory since 1994 while also ending Argentina’s 36-game unbeaten streak which goes back to 2019

After the game, a stunned Messi said that it’s a hard blow for everyone, as per Argentina’s official Twitter account. 

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar said: ‘We knew that (Saudi) Arabia is a team with good players, that moves the ball well and that advances the line a lot. We work on it, but we speed up a bit.

‘There are no excuses. We are going to be more united than ever. This group is strong and they have shown it. 

Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot but things fell apart in the second-half

‘It is a situation that we did not have to go through in a long time. Now we have to show that this is a real group.

‘It’s a very hard blow for everyone, we didn’t expect to start like this. Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for what’s coming, we have to win or win and it depends on us.

‘We have to go back to the base of who we are. We have to think about what’s to come.’

Saudi Arabia claimed their first victory at the World Cup since 1994, while ending Argentina’s 36-game unbeaten streak.

Messi has urged his team-mates to go back to basics to avoid an unthinkable early exit

In that time, Argentina have lifted the Copa America trophy – and they and the team they beat in the final, Brazil, are seen by many as two of the top favourites to go all the way in Qatar.

It’s a massively disappointing start for Messi, who is playing at his fifth and final World Cup of his career.

The World Cup is the only major trophy missing from his illustrious CV, and defeat to Saudi Arabia means qualification to the Round of 16 has been made trickier with games against Mexico and Poland to come.  

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