A chant has been doing the rounds among Saudi Arabia supporters — and even some from Brazil — in the fan parks and streets of Doha at the World Cup.
“Where is Messi? We broke his eye!” they sing in Arabic, using a slang expression meaning to bring shame on a person.
Messi and his Argentina team are being mocked after a humbling 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia that has left their presence at the tournament in big — and completely unforeseen — danger.
Argentina needs to immediately bounce back against Mexico on Saturday, otherwise an embarrassing early exit awaits.
“We always said we were going to look to win every game,” Messi said, “and now more than ever.”
A compatriot — indeed the team’s former coach — could mastermind the fatal blow to Argentina.
Gerardo Martino led his native Argentina from 2014-16, losing the Copa America final in back-to-back years in that time before quitting. Now Martino is Mexico’s coach and looking to guide the team into the last 16 — perhaps at the expense of Argentina — and beyond. After all, Mexico has famously lost its first match of the knockout stage in each of the last seven World Cups, twice to Argentina, in 2006 and 2010.