Saudi Arabia manager Herve Renard’s spine-tingling half-time team talk from his side’s opening 2022 World Cup match against Argentina has gone viral on social media.
Footage of the team talk was uploaded by Saudi Arabia’s official Twitter account on Thursday evening, days after the team produced one of the biggest shocks in recent World Cup history.
Argentina, one of the pre-tournament favourites, took an early lead through Lionel Messi and went on to have a further three goals disallowed for offside before the half-time whistle.
But everything changed in the second half.
Two goals in five minutes from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari turned the game on its head, stunning Argentina in the process.
The South Americans had over half-an-hour to salvage something from the game but Saudi’s players managed to see the game out to secure all three points.
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR – NOVEMBER 22: Saudi Arabia players celebrate the 2-1 win during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Renard’s half-time team talk vs Argentina hailed
Midfielder Abdulellah Al-Malki said after the match that Renard’s half-time team talk inspired the comeback.
Per the Daily Mail, he told the Alkass Sports channel: “We have a crazy coach. He motivated us during half-time, telling us stuff that made us want to eat the grass [run themselves into the ground].”
Al-Malki said that he was also moved to tears by Renard’s words prior to kick-off.
“Before the game, in the pre-game talk with the coach, I swear to God I was crying,” he added. “He motivated us to the extent that we couldn’t wait for the game to begin.”
Renard spoke with such passion at the half-time interval.
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR – NOVEMBER 22: Herve Renard, Head Coach of Saudi Arabia, reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
What did Herve Renard say at half-time vs Argentina?
The Frenchman, who won the 2012 and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations with Zambia and Ivory Coast respectively, made it clear to his players that they were given their opponents too much respect (and space) during the opening 45 minutes.
At one point, Renard shouts to one of his players: “Last time, Messi has the ball in the middle of the pitch, you stand in front of the defence!
“Take your phone, you can make a picture with him, if you want!”
He ended his team talk by shouting: “You don’t feel something here? You don’t feel that we’re able to come back? You don’t feel it!? They play relaxed. Come on, guys – this is the World Cup. Give everything!
“Come on. Move yourself!”
Video: Harve Renard’s half-time team talk vs Argentina
Watch the epic footage here:
Hervé Renard, Saudi Arabia coach’s speech at half time vs. Argentina. Talks about the marking and Lionel Messi.pic.twitter.com/GZdfM2WSU6
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) November 24, 2022
Or skip to 6 mins here for the full clip:
It suddenly makes more sense how Saudi Arabia, despite being outclassed in the first half, were able to pull off the biggest World Cup upset in years.
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