Saudi defender Ali Al Bulayhi reveals Lionel Messi win against Argentina, video, scores, results, news


Saudi defender Ali Al Bulayhi has revealed the mid-match taunt with which he hit Argentina superstar Lionel Messi during his side’s stunning upset win against World Cup favourites.

The Saudis dominated the defending South American champions in the second half of their group stage clash, winning 2-1 at Lusail.

As the Saudis erupted in the second half, footage emerged of Al Bulayhi patting Messi on the back and offering a few choice words to the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

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After the match, he was asked exactly what he said to Messi and revealed the three words he said to arguably the greatest player in the history of the game: “You won’t win”.

Delighted fans erupted in celebration across the Arab world after the Saudis’ shocking triumph.

From Syria and Jordan to Gaza and Qatar – hosts of this year’s World Cup – fans rejoiced in Saudi Arabia’s achievement, one of the biggest upsets in tournament history .

Immediately after their team’s 2-1 win, Saudi fans who attended the match in person flooded the streets outside Lusail Stadium waving their country’s green and white flags while chanting and chanting – and even hugging the distraught Argentina fans.

“I am speechless,” said Saudi fan Sultan Alharthi. “I can’t even explain how happy I am because I didn’t expect us to win.

Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, attended the game and at one point draped a Saudi flag over his shoulders. The moment, captured in an online video and widely shared, would have been unthinkable almost two years ago when Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries boycotted Qatar over a political dispute.

In northwest Syria, the rebel stronghold of the war-torn country, residents gathered in cafes to cheer and celebrate after the final whistle. It was a welcome change for the enclave, where millions suffer from frequent airstrikes and poverty.

In the city of Idlib, Ahmad Al-Absi said Saudi Arabia’s victory was a much-needed morale boost for Syrians and Arabs in the Middle East, even if it meant seeing his favorite football team to lose.

“It shows that we have talented people who can achieve things on the world stage,” Al-Absi, an Argentine fan, told The Associated Press.

“We dream of a better future as Arabs, and this boost in morale reminds us that nothing is impossible.”

In the streets of Amman, Jordan, dozens of Saudi and Jordanian nationals celebrated in the streets, carrying Saudi flags or placing them on their cars and sounding their horns.

And in Gaza, Palestinian residents rejoiced, saying they stood with Saudi Arabia in their footballing glory moment. “They support us politically and socially, so these celebrations are a kind of reciprocity,” said Abu Khalil, a Gaza resident.

In Saudi Arabia, King Salman has announced an instant public holiday for all workers and students in the kingdom to celebrate the victory.

People watching the game in a fan zone in the capital, Riyadh, jumped for joy and cheered as the game ended. Drivers honked their horns in celebration. Saudi authorities also allowed free entry to a state-sponsored sports and entertainment festival.

The gravity of the victory will eventually be felt. Saudi Arabia are a team that had won just three World Cup matches in their history before Tuesday’s game.

Argentina, who won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986, are – or were – one of the favorites this year.

“One for the books,” said Saudi coach Hervé Renard.

“Sometimes things are completely crazy.”

Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais, who made two key saves late in the game, was nearly overpowered at the end, perhaps failing to grasp the magnitude of the upset.

“I am very happy with this result that we were able to achieve against this very busy team,” said Alowais solemnly.

“We have prepared. We were 100% ready and hopefully we will have better results in the future.”

Despite leading 1-0 at half-time after a 10th-minute goal from Messi, Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari managed to score a goal each early in the second half.

Then came over 50 minutes, including end-of-game added time at the referee’s discretion, to keep one of the tournament favorites at bay.

“All the stars lined up for us,” said Renard, who won the Africa Cup of Nations as Zambia coach in 2012 and then again with Ivory Coast in 2015.

Renard has also coached Angola and Morocco, which he guided to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He took control of Saudi Arabia in 2019.

“We made history in Saudi football,” Renard said.

“It will stay forever. That’s the most important thing. But we also have to think about the future because we still have two games which are very, very difficult for us.”

Renard said he asked his players to limit the post-game celebration to 20 minutes.

“That’s all,” he said. “But there are still two games left – or more.”

They are yet to face Poland on Saturday and then face Mexico next Tuesday in Group C. The two are likely still favorites against Saudi Arabia, despite the upset.

He also suggested another possible truth: Messi and Argentina probably underestimated Saudi Arabia, who are only No.51 in the FIFA rankings. Argentina is No. 3.

“But you know the motivation is not like playing against Brazil,” he added.

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