Herve Renard, the architect of the Green Falcons’ stunning victory against Argentina, said all the stars in the sky aligned for his team in Qatar.
Speaking in a post-match press conference after leading the Saudi squad to the fabulous win over Argentina, the two-time World Champions, the head coach said: “They came here without losing in 36 games, they are South American champions, they have amazing players but this is football, sometimes completely crazy things can happen.”
“Tactically we were not good in the first half. If we’d conceded a second goal, I think the game was finished, and at half-time, I was not happy because our pressure and determination were not good.”
He continued: “But today all the stars in the sky aligned for us. Everything can happen in football – sometimes your opponent is not at their best. Imagine that for Lionel Messi to play against Saudi Arabia, you know the motivation is not like you are playing Brazil, this is normal.”
“We made history that will stay in Saudi football forever, but we still need to look forward – we still have two games that are very difficult for us. With three games you can win the first game and not qualify, and you can lose the first game and be world champions as Argentina. It’s possible,” he pointed out.
Al-Faraj will not play in coming matches
Renard hinted that Salman Al-Faraj, the Saudi national team captain, will not play in the remaining matches. “It will be difficult for Al-Faraj to play another match in this tournament,” he said.
The 33-year-old veteran is considered as one of the pillars of the Saudi national team, and Al-Faraj overcame a shoulder injury that he had recently sustained to participate in the tightest game against Argentina.
He suffered a knee injury after half an hour of the match and later was replaced by Nawaf Al-Abed.