The defeat against Saudi Arabia rightfully enters the worst debacles in history
A real debacle. There Argentina lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia it is the first big surprise of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. A misstep that rightfully enters the list of matches with a sensational result that mark the history of the World Cup. Without necessarily bothering David against Goliath, the feat of the Saudis, with Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari, in the presence of the battleship of Messi, Di Maria, Lautaro and all the others, is the confirmation of the first law of football: even when values are distant, the sporting ones and the economic ones, everyone can win with everyone.
Here are some notable precedents:
Italy-Costa Rica 0-1, Brazil 2014. Not just the surprise of a match, but of an entire group. Costa Rica are considered the underdogs of the group and instead finish first, with Italy eliminated.
South Korea 2-1 Italy, Korea/Japan 2002. It is the first time in the round of 16 for South Korea, in six participations. The Italian formation is obviously favoured. It’s the match that goes down in history for the incredible refereeing of Byron Moreno.
France-Senegal 0-1, Korea/Japan 2002. First match of the tournament. France arrives as European champion and holder of the world title, conquered at home in 1998. Senegal is making its debut in a final phase of the World Cup.
Brazil 1-2 Norway, France 1998. It’s the last match of group A, Brazil arrives strong with two victories and Norway back from two draws. It is the Scandinavians’ second victory in a World Cup match.
Argentina-Cameroon 0-1, Italy 1990. Another opening game and the same prediction completely overturned. The outgoing champions, and the previous one is significant given today’s result, lose against a team in its second participation in the World Cup.
West Germany 1-2 Algeria, Spain 1982. Germani twice World Champion and one of the favorites of the tournament. For Algeria it is the absolute debut in a World Cup.
East Germany 1-0 West Germany, Germany 1974. Another defeat, very heavy for the noble West Germany. The cousins of the East are in their first participation in a World Cup. And we are in the midst of the Cold War
Italy-North Korea 0-1, England 1966. North Korea are making their debut in the tournament and Italy are two-time world champions. Italy’s defeat entails elimination and a shame that will last over time.
England 0-1 USA, Brazil 1950. England has the reputation of the nation that invented soccer, the United States that of a nation with no footballing tradition. Yet, the camp subverts values.