Football fans the world over revel in Argentina defeat to Saudi Arabia

The GOAT just got roasted! Football fans the world over revel in Argentina’s humiliating 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia with ruthless memes targeting their talisman Lionel Messi

  • Social media users reacted with glee to Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina
  • Football fans mocked Messi and his title as ‘the greatest of all time’, or the GOAT, by posting images of people roasting goats on a fire after his team lost 2-1
  • Messi, who scored Argentina’s goal against Saudi Arabia, bore brunt of mockery
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Social media users reacted with glee to Saudi Arabia’s extraordinary comeback win against Lionel Messi’s Argentina in one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.

Football fans mocked Messi and his title as ‘the greatest of all time’ – or the GOAT – by posting images of people preparing to roast goats on a fire after his team lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia.

One user also edited an image of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing chess and replaced the Argentinian captain with a picture of Salem Al-Dawsari, who scored an extraordinary winning goal for Saudi Arabia. The caption read: ‘The 2 GOATs’. 

Messi, who scored Argentina’s only goal against Saudi Arabia with an early penalty, bore the brunt of the mockery as the footballer continues on his fifth and final quest for the only major trophy to elude him.

American football news outlet B/R Football tweeted a cartoon image depicting Messi stuck in a hole in the desert while trying in vain to reach the World Cup trophy. Al-Dawsari is depicted jumping above Messi while pointing and laughing at the footballer.

Another Twitter user, referencing Saudi Arabia’s solid defence, posted a picture of riot police trying to break down a door with the caption: ‘Argentina trying to score on the Saudi Arabia keeper.’

Football fans mocked Messi and his title as ‘the greatest of all time’ – or the GOAT – by posting images of people preparing to roast goats on a fire after his team lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia

Another Twitter user, referencing Saudi Arabia’s solid defence, posted a picture of riot police trying to break down a door with the caption: ‘Argentina trying to score on the Saudi Arabia keeper’

A Brazilian fan also went undercover during the match, and was seen smiling broadly whilst stood next to scores of glum Argentinian fans. Video shows the man unzipping his black jumper to reveal his blue Brazilian football shirt while putting a thumbs up to the camera

American football news outlet B/R Football tweeted a cartoon image depicting Messi stuck in a hole in the desert while trying in vain to reach the World Cup trophy. Al-Dawsari is depicted jumping above Messi while pointing and laughing at the footballer

Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez of Argentina show their dejection after the 2-1 loss during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia

A Brazilian fan also went undercover during the match, and was seen smiling broadly whilst stood next to scores of glum Argentinian fans.

Video shows the man unzipping his black jumper to reveal his blue Brazilian football shirt while putting a thumbs up to the camera.

Other fans piled in on Messi and his compatriots after the full time whistle, calling him a ‘choker’ and ‘bottle merchant’ while lambasting Argentina for yet again failing to perform on the world stage.

England fans in particular were delighted, pointing out the indignation suffered by the Three Lions when Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal dumped them out of the World Cup in 1986.

‘Personally I have not, nor will ever will forgive Argentina for “the hand of god” cheats are cheats and see any time they get beaten as something to celebrate,’ one England fan wrote.

One user also edited an image of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing chess and replaced the Argentinian captain with a picture of Salem Al-Dawsari, who scored an extraordinary winning goal for Saudi Arabia. The caption read: ‘The 2 GOATs’

Other fans piled in on Messi and his compatriots after the full time whistle, calling him a ‘choker’ and ‘bottle merchant’ while lambasting Argentina for yet again failing to perform on the world stage. Pictured: A meme showing a Messi-look-a-like looking gormless

One Twitter user referenced Michael Jordan’s Last Dance documentary in a jibe against Messi

Messi, who scored Argentina’s only goal against Saudi Arabia with an early penalty, bore the brunt of the mockery as the footballer continues on his fifth and final quest for the only major trophy to elude him 

Argentina football fans watch their team loose to Saudi Arabia in a World Cup match, in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Tuesday

During the match, Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament after Ghana, were down 1-0 by the 10th minute after Messi scored a penalty.

Argentina displayed their dominance in the first half where Messi and Lautaro Martinez also had three goals disallowed for offside. 

But Saudi Arabia threw caution to the wind at the start of the second half, charging at Argentina’s defence in front of a frenzied 88,012 crowd.

Saleh Al-Shehri squeezed in a low shot in the 48th minute while Al-Dawsari curled in a scorching strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 53rd minute to leave Argentina and Messi looking utterly shell-shocked in the Group C opener.

Despite plenty of possession after that, Argentina were unable to penetrate Saudi Arabia, who were competing in their sixth World Cup but had never previously won an opening game.

The entire game was played in an extraordinary atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium, with Argentina’s traditionally massive and raucous following matched by the thousands of Saudis who had come over the border to cheer on their team.

‘Our team fulfils our dreams!’ and ‘Where is Messi? We beat him!’, the green-clad Saudis chanted over and over in the Lusail Stadium, on their feet and greeting every clearance from their defence with a deafening roar.

Both teams have Mexico and Poland to come, with Argentina needing an immediate reaction if Messi is to have a realistic chance of matching Diego Maradona’s immortality in his homeland by bringing home the World Cup.

The result revived old question marks over Argentina’s defence and broke their amazing 36-match undefeated run. That stopped them from matching the previous international record of 37 games unbeaten held by Italy.

Despite plenty of possession after that, Argentina were unable to penetrate Saudi Arabia, who were competing in their sixth World Cup but had never previously won an opening game. Pictured: Argentinian fans watch their team lose on a big screen in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires on Tuesday

It also marred Messi’s achievement of becoming the first Argentinian to score in four World Cups on his 20th appearance in the tournament. Only Maradona has played more games for Argentina at the World Cup, 21 in all.

‘This hurts a lot. We were dreaming of starting the World Cup with a win,’ said Messi’s strike partner Martinez. ‘But it’s happened and now we have to train and think forward.

‘We lost this game because of our own mistakes, most of all in the second half. There are details that make a difference and we need to correct our mistakes.’

It had all looked so different at the start when the marauding Messi nearly scored in the opening seconds, celebrated joyfully after sending Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais the wrong way with his penalty, then had another goal disallowed.

For the Saudis, the result buried their dismal history at the start of tournaments, including a 5-0 thrashing by hosts Russia in 2018 and an 8-0 pummelling by Germany in 2002.

Their feat against the twice World Cup-winners and current South American champions was all the more remarkable given the departure of their influential captain and midfielder Salman Al Faraj just after halftime, clutching a hamstring.

Argentina’s last defeat was by Brazil in the semi-finals of the Copa America in July 2019. They are ranked third, 48 places above Saudi Arabia, by world football’s governing body FIFA.

Argentina’s last defeat in their opening match at a World Cup was against Cameroon in 1990.

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