Argentine team in the World Cup in Qatar 2022: the hours after the defeat and Lionel Messi’s message of union

DOHA (Special envoy). – Now nothing will be enough. There will be no words or gestures that will rescue them from the pain in which they are submerged. Each person processes it in a different way. He didn’t need to talk Rodrigo DePaul. Her cheekbones were flushed, as if she’d had to hold back her tears. Instead, Leandro Paredes he was definitely angry. That conveyed the look of him in the mixed zone at Lusail Stadium.

They passed without speaking to the press. They didn’t even respond to the request. Meanwhile, the captain Lionel Messi, made a different choice. You have a greater responsibility. He knows. And although she seems “talk” of journalists, it is necessary to explain it. The television and radio press that have rights get a privileged position for interviews. On the other hand, those media that did not pay for the fee to FIFA, wait behind. Players are also forced to pass through there, but not to stop. Messi knows it and he also made a stop so that the message reached everyone.

Lionel Messi is lost in the middle of the festivities in Saudi Arabia: a symbol of the difficult moment of the selection.Hannibal Greco – The Nation

A simple question about how his teammates were after the incredible defeat against Saudi Arabia, probably the most painful in the history of the team, was dispatched: “Dead. It is a very hard blow, we did not expect such a thing “. And a little later he recognized the biggest challenge, a supreme one: “Now we must show if we are a real group. That people trust, that this group is not going to leave them stranded. We are going to try to go and beat Mexico to get settled again”.

Definitely, that Messi was better than the one that was seen on the pitch. Because not even the penalty that he converted at the start of the game served to display his happiest version.

But that was not all. Messi already knows the feeling. But most of the components of this group, no. For the first time they were pierced by the look of a defeat that they felt humiliating. They perceived that pain in their bones. The selection wore a undefeated in three years and 36 games. It was one of the fears: How will this team react when it’s their turn to lose?

Lautaro Martínez, Otamendi and Álvarez;  everything was pain for Argentina in the Lusail stadium.
Lautaro Martínez, Otamendi and Álvarez; everything was pain for Argentina in the Lusail stadium.Hannibal Greco – The Nation

The moment in which the coup occurred was the worst of all. In the most anticipated match for themselves. What reactions did they have? Not much is known; good symptom. The group is closed. No fights were disclosed, of those logics that appear in big falls. At least not for now.

On the bus back to the concentration of the University of Qatar and in front of sorrowful faces, Messi stood up, as in the mixed zone. Now to talk to his companions, to ask them to stick together. What they have achieved so far has not been accidental; defeats happen and knowing how to get up is part of the process of a great team. It is time to show that they are.

But as said, nothing is enough. Upon arriving at the hotel, the coaching staff decided that this time the snack would be optional. Some did not want to come down, they were so embarrassed, they stayed in their rooms.

Second goal for Arabia against Argentina

Later, at dinner, they were all there. But it was a sad meeting, without the weather that has accompanied them for several seasons. For the first time there was no laughter, no jokesneither desktop nor trick games.

At the end of the day, the goalless draw between Mexico and Poland was a small relief. The coaching staff spoke with the players. On the one hand, the distance with the two rivals with whom they will have to fight for their classification is not that great. On the other, that was the only result that, by winning the remaining two games (regardless of other markers), allowed Argentina to once again depend on itself.

But it is repeated: for that, he has to win both games. That is where the “small relief” makes sense, because although fate winked at him, the biggest problem persists within the team.

Ángel Di María and Messi, deep unease after an unexpected debut.
Ángel Di María and Messi, deep unease after an unexpected debut.ANTONIN THUILLIER – AFP

The questions are many. Messi showed almost nothing of what he did in the first three months of the season at PSG: was he as good as he said in the press conference or is he having some physical problem? What will happen to Cristian Romero, who will He retired injured? What emotional response will the group have after such a shock?

A first look at the campus will be mandatory. By order of FIFA, this Wednesday morning the team must open its doors to offer 15 minutes of their training to the press. There the game of speculation will be activated again: how many will show up? How many will do gym work to avoid having to pose in front of the photographers’ flashes?

The selection got alone in a labyrinth of fears and pain. Now all seems lost. It will depend on the team to find the strength to get ahead in the most complex scenario of all those that could be imagined.

Argentina. The five lethal minutes, the song of the Saudis against Messi and a “dead” dressing room
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