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22nd Nov 2022

Messi is ruthlessly mocked by fans after Argentina’s shock defeat

Steve Hopkins

‘The greatest choke artist of all time’

Lionel Messi has been given yet another football accolade – this time for “chocking” in Argentina’s shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia.

The two-time winners were stunned in their World Cup opener in Lusail, Qatar, by a team ranked 51st in the world, and in the aftermath Messi was soon squarely the sights on social media.

In just the 10th minute of the match, the PSG forward and multiple European Golden Shoe winner opened the scoring  from the penalty spot after a VAR check, but fans said after the first half he “literally disappeared”.

Argentina had three other goals ruled out for offside calls picked up by the automated system before half-time.

The Green Falcons flipped the game on its head in an eight minute burst of brilliance during the second spell, scoring two goals to seal the Group C upset, the biggest in WC history.

First, Saleh Al-Shehri drew them level as he stole a yard on Cristian Romero to fire across goal, then Salem Al-Dawsari found space to shoot inside the box to pick out the top corner and ignite the crowd.

Saudi Arabia held Argentina at bay for the rest of the match to secure only their fourth WC win and throw the group wide open. Messi’s Argentina had come into the tournament among the favourites off the back of a 36-game unbeaten run that included winning the 2021 Copa America.

Rival fans from across the world were shocked by the result and blasted Messi – who may be playing in his last World Cup – on social media for failing on the world stage.

One fan wrote bluntly: “Messi choked yet again. he is not winning this world cup.”

Another branded the 35-year-old the “greatest choke artist of all time for Argentina and big moments”.

Argentina face Mexico on Saturday, while Saudi Arabia take on Poland.

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