The memory of the first match loss in the opening 2022 FIFA World Cup game with Saudi Arabia in Qatar will continue to linger in the minds of the Argentines, after they suffered a humiliating 1-2 defeat at the Lusail Stadium.
Perhaps, fans of Manchester United player, Cristiano Ronaldo, will have more reason to crown the Portugal front-man as the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), after Lionel Messi failed to motivate his side to victory in the opener.
Ranked as third in world, many expected the South American team who have been unbeaten for three years and among the favorites to win the tournament, to trample on the Saudi Arabian, ranked 48 places below it in the world rankings.
Both players will be featuring at their fifth World Cup, having first taken to international football’s biggest stage in 2006. Neither has claimed the coveted trophy yet.
Now that Messi was unable to motivate his team to victory, what will be in the mind of his fans as per the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)?
Many football fans believe GOAT Leonel Messi was roasted at the opener by the Saudi Arabians.
Football fans across the micro-blogging app Twitter have made a mockery of Lionel Messi, as Argentina stumbled to an unexpected opening-day defeat against Saudi Arabia.
Messi became Argentina’s youngest-ever World Cup player when he came off the bench to set up one goal and score another in a 6-0 win over Serbia and Montenegro 16 years ago.
The Argentine then celebrated his 19th birthday by coming on in the last-16 against Mexico, which they won 2-1 after extra-time, but his side were eliminated in the following round by hosts Germany.
At the same tournament, Ronaldo became Portugal’s youngest-ever World Cup scorer aged 21 with a penalty against Iran in the group stage, while he scored the winning penalty against England in the quarter-finals – not to mention producing *that* wink when Wayne Rooney was sent off. He couldn’t prevent a 1-0 semi-final defeat to France.
In 2010, Messi and Argentina were again eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany, despite being considered among the tournament favourites, while Ronaldo and Portugal were knocked out by eventual winners Spain in the last 16.
Four years later, Ronaldo, by now Portugal’s all-time top scorer, battled through fitness problems to feature in Brazil, but his country suffered an embarrassing group stage exit on goal difference.
Messi, meanwhile, was man of the match in Argentina’s first four games and inspired his country to the final in his first World Cup as captain.