Argentina’s shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia will go down as one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history. For anyone who backed the Copa America winners to go all the way, don’t rip up your betting slip just yet.
An opening loss has the potential to completely derail your campaign, especially one as catastrophic as Argentina’s, but this isn’t always the case.
In 2010, tournament favourites Spain lost their opening game 1-0 to Switzerland and would then go on to win the World Cup. They were and are still the only side in history to achieve this feat.
A reminder to Argentina that Spain lost their opening game at the 2010 World Cup.
It didn’t work out too badly for them. #BBCWorldCup pic.twitter.com/TiYlIXuIWP
— Conor McNamara (@ConorMcNamaraIE) November 22, 2022
Although Switzerland is a far superior opponent to Saudi Arabia, that Spain team with a Barcelona core was one of the greatest teams of all time. Instead of dampening their hopes, it lit a fire under La Roja, which burned to the final.
With a team full of world-class players who before today were on their way to breaking the longest games unbeaten record, there is no reason why they cannot replicate the Spanish 2010 side. If they were able to bounce back stronger than ever and go all the way, it would be the crowning jewel of Messi’s illustrious career.