Thursday, March 30, 2023

Lionel Messi deciphers how defeat to Saudi Arabia helps Argentina attain FIFA World Cup closing

For 20 minutes within the semifinal towards Croatia on the self-proclaimed ‘iconic’ Lusail Stadium, Argentina was outthought and outrun by the hardworking opponent. However then, Lionel Messi held this match by the scruff of its neck to point out the world once more that he can write his personal future.  

“We’ve played with discipline today. We knew the game would be set up this way. We’ve done a great job. We were aware they’d keep possession of the ball, as they have key players in that sense, making us run,” the Argentina captain stated in his post-match press convention.

“But despite that, we created our usual chances, the game also got out of hand quickly. We prepared for this game in the best way. We knew the game would have the shape it had. That’s why we didn’t feel desperate when we had to run, or when they ran from one flank to another. We knew that was their strength: keeping possession of the ball. But we also knew we could make the most of that whenever we recovered the ball. They play in the midfield to keep the ball, leaving many spaces.” 

And this area was quickly exploited as Julian Alvarez latched on to a ball within the center after Messi was fouled to barge contained in the field and accumulate a penalty for a reckless foul by goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.  

Talking in regards to the persistence and composure that’s slowly coming again to Argentina’s sport, Messi stated: “This team – putting aside the strength we have collectively – is very smart, and we know how to read key moments of the game, of every game. [Coach Lionel] Scaloni stated that we’ve got a very smart team, that knows when and how to dig in, we know when and how to have the possession of the ball, we know when to press, when to sit back.” 

Praising the work of Scaloni and his deputies – former stars Pablo Aimar and Walter Samuel – Messi stated: “We prepare the best way, along with a professional coaching staff that pays attention to details. They highlight everything you need to be aware of in each game, even if it is minimal.” 

Additionally Learn | Argentina qualifies for FIFA World Cup closing after 3-0 win towards Croatia in semis

A primary-match loss to Saudi Arabia had threatened to derail Argentina’s marketing campaign as quickly because it began, however the group drew in on its interior energy to claw again and negotiate “five finals” to make it to the ultimate after an eight-year wait.  

“The first match was a hard blow to all of us. At the time we had played the last 36 matches without a single loss. So, to lose the first match in the World Cup to a team nobody thought we could lose to, was a strong blow to all of us as a group,” Messi stated. “We played five finals, and luckily won all of them. Hopefully, we’ll win the next one too. I think among ourselves we were too confident back then, because we knew our potential as a group, and we lost the first match in the fine margins. That helped us grow as a team and advance in the championship.”

And now, he’ll once more play within the closing and it could be his final within the World Cup, the legend indicated. “I feel very happy to be able to achieve this. To finish my World Cup journey by playing the last game in the final. It’s many years for the next one and I don’t think I will be able to do it,” Messi stated. 

Most Popular