Soccer

Messi appears shaken after Saudi Arabia defender squares up to him at World Cup

Lionel Messi appeared to have been shaken by a Saudi Arabian defender – who squared up to the Argentine superstar after Saudi Arabia netted their winner.

Ali Al-Bulayhi found Messi after their second and told the PSG man: "You will not win, you will not win!" Messi looked baffled at the discussion, before appearing to nervously laugh as he tried to walk away.

Al-Bulayhi confirmed to a reporter what he told Messi after the game, when he was quizzed about the interaction. And the Al-Hilal defender's prophecy came true as Saudi players put their bodies on the line to earn a famous win on Tuesday morning.

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It's more than likely Messi's final World Cup in Qatar – and with Argentina one of the favourites he sent them into an early lead from the spot.

But despite dominating the first half Argentina were not able to extend their lead any further – and Saudi Arabia ripped up the rule book with a quick-fire double. Argentina weren't able to rally as the Saudis dug deep in a great performance.

Saudi Arabia knocked a serious dent into Argentina's World Cup hopes – and they now have to be faultless until the final.

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After the game, Messi said: "We knew that (Saudi) Arabia is a team with good players, that moves the ball well and that advances the line a lot. We work on it, but we speed up a bit.

"There are no excuses. We are going to be more united than ever. This group is strong and they have shown it. It is a situation that we did not have to go through in a long time. Now we have to show that this is a real group.

"It's a very hard blow for everyone, we didn't expect to start like this. Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for what's coming, we have to win or win and it depends on us. We have to go back to the base of who we are. We have to think about what's to come."

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