Argentina hope to bring World Cup cheer after Maradona woes
Argentine footballers are determined to bring joy back to the country after a day of mourning on the second anniversary of Diego Maradona’s death, coach Lionel Scaloni said on Friday. Former players and fans pay tribute to Maradona at the World Cup in Qatar to mark the 1986 World Cup winner’s death from a heart attack in 2020 aged 60. And after a 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Argentina’s players and coach have vowed to turn things around against Mexico on Saturday to keep alive their dreams of winning a third World Cup.
Scaloni said, “It is a very sad day for everyone. If he is watching us from heaven, tomorrow we hope to give him happiness.”
“It seems incredible that he is no longer here. It is a sad day for all Argentines but we hope that tomorrow will be a happy day.”
Maradona led Argentina to their last World Cup victory in 36 years, when he was widely regarded as the best player of his generation.
Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martínez said, “We keep him in mind, for us Argentinians he was a very important figure in world football, not only for us Argentinians.”
“We remember him in the best possible way. Today is a sad day for everyone and hope tomorrow we can give happiness.”
Argentina arrived in Doha on a 36-match unbeaten run and one of the overall favorites to lift the trophy.
But after slumping against the Saudis, a loss to Mexico would see them out of the tournament.
The players know they cannot afford a repeat of their opening match.
“It was difficult but we are a united group, a strong group that knows what we want, we know about our opponents, we have already overcome many things,” said Martínez, who won two The bar goal was disallowed for offside. Saudi.
Asked whether going out in the group stages would be the biggest catastrophe in Argentine football history, Martínez insisted that the idea had never crossed anyone’s mind in the team.
He said, “We haven’t talked about it. There’s no pressure. We trust our work, each one of us in what we’re doing. We’re very calm.”
Mexico winger Hirving Lozano said his team would be discouraged by Argentina’s shock defeat.
“The Saudi result against Argentina was very surprising, although I think it was more because of the way Saudi Arabia played, they played very well,” he said.
“It’s very motivating but like all matches we respect our opponents, we will try to go about it in the best possible way against Argentina.”
While the focus will largely be on Argentina’s last chance at Salon, Mexico’s Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said it was also an important match for his side, who drew 0-0 with Poland in their first game.
“The requirements are not that different, we also need a result tomorrow, it is important for both teams,” Martino said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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