“We’re dead. It’s a very hard blow.” This was the reaction of a devastated Lionel Messi after the defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia in their World Cup opener.
He admitted Argentina could have no excuses for the defeat.
Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot early in the first half which saw Argentina have three goals ruled out for offside before Saudi Arabia turned the tide after the break and roared to a stunning victory.
After the game, Messi could not hide his disappointment. “We didn't want to start that way. We wanted to win, to give peace of mind. There are no excuses. Now, it's time to focus on strength and the unity of the group. It’s time for us to be more united than ever. It’s time to calm down.”
"It's a hard blow, a painful defeat. We have to keep trusting ourselves. Let's try to beat Mexico to see how the group turns out." Assessing the game, Messi admitted Argentina came out the blocks too fast and couldn't keep up.
"We had chances and we had many offside opportunities," he said. “We made the mistake of speeding up too much. We knew they would play with a high line. We sped up a little, but after, we started to clutter up, lose functionality and lose the midfield battle.”
“The goal early in the second half confused us. We couldn't find the game we had been showing for a long time. When the game went on, with the result against us, it became more difficult,” he added.