Fans have slammed Argentina defender Cristian Romero’s performance in the team’s incredible 2-1 upset against Saudi Arabia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup today (November 22).
The Tottenham Hotspur centre-back was poor as La Albiceleste opened their campaign with a shock defeat. Romero made two clearances, blocked one shot, and made one tackle.
He could have done better to defend Saudi Arabia’s equaliser after Lionel Messi had given Argentina the lead from the spot. Saleh Al-Shehri turned Romero around and scored with a brilliant shot past Emiliano Martinez. The centre-back could have arguably done better for the second toom as Salem Al-Dawsari scored brilliantly past a hapless Argentina defence and Martinez.
The Spurs defender was playing his first game since October 26, having struggled with an injury this season. He was eventually substituted in the 59th minute for Lisandro Martinez.
This was the first time in 11 games La Albiceleste conceded twice with Romero on the pitch, which snapped their 36-game unbeaten run spanning three years. Argentina are touted by many as the favourites, so fans were clearly unhappy with the team’s performance, especially Romero’s.
Here are some fan reactions:
“The big favourites never win the World Cups” – Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni
Ahead of the game against Saudi Arabia, Lionel Scaloni played down La Albiceleste’s chances of winning the FIFA World Cup. He said (via Mundo Albiceleste):
“The big favourites never win the World Cups. I think that a lot of big nations, great teams, at least eight of them can win this World Cup. The majority are Europeans. It’s what happened in the last years. I think that South American teams couldn’t reach the finals; even in 2014 we did and Argentina maybe could have done a bit better. The rest are just details.”
“And I think this World Cup will be the same. Details will make champions and not necessarily the team that plays the best.”
Argentina will next take on Mexico on Saturday (November 26) before locking horns with Poland four days later.