Messi leads Argentina v Saudi Arabia in final World Cup quest
Lionel Messi, the 35-year-old captain and all-time leading scorer for Argentina, overcame some fatigue issues to skipper the team on Tuesday against Saudi Arabia in group C’s opening match. This is Messi’s final attempt to win the coveted World Cup crown.
In a star-studded squad that is one of the favorites to win in Qatar, Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria were up front with Lionel Messi because Paulo Dybala had not yet fully recovered from an injury.
Salman Al-Faraj, the captain and a midfielder for Saudi Arabia, was kept in the lineup despite a recent shoulder injury by head coach Herve Renard. He has played a crucial role in Al Hilal’s recent supremacy of Asian club football.
Due to the financial clout of the local league, their team consists exclusively of domestic players, and few of the top players aspire to play abroad.
Teams: Nicolas Tagliafico, Cristian Romero, and Emeliano Martinez of Argentina Lionel Messi (captain), Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria, Nahuel Molina, Alejandro Gomez, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, and Nicolas Otamendi.
Saudi Arabia: Saleh Al-Shehri, Hassan Al-Tambakti, Salman Al-Faraj (c), Salem Al-Dawsari, and Firas Al-Buraikan. Ali Al-Bulaihi, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Mohamed Al-Owais, Abdulelah Al-Malki, Saud Abdulhamid, and Mohamed Kanno.