Argentina captain Lionel Messi did not mince words and admitted that his team is devastated following their 1-2 defeat against Saudi Arabia in their opening group stage match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. However, despite this, he remains confident that they can rise above the initial setback.

Messi struck the opening goal for Argentina via a penalty in the 10th minute and he said that taking the lead early may have worked against Argentina in the long run. "The goal so early wasn't good for us, it confused us. We knew that in the first game it could happen that we didn't play as well as we can and we have been," he said, in an interview quoted by Marca.

He admitted that when Saudi Arabia took the 1-2 lead, Argentina became "disorganised, playing desperately."

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was open about how hard the defeat affected the team. "The group is dead right now, because it's a tough blow to take, because we were confident of getting off to a good start, of winning, and that calms you," he said.

They were not the only ones who were confident about their chances of winning. All over the world, Argentina has been considered to be one of the contenders to go all the way to possibly lift the trophy. It is seen as Messi's chance to cap off his illustrious career. Needless to say, a loss in their opening match is not ideal for any team, but it was completely unexpected from the Albiceleste.

Nevertheless, Messi did not downplay the achievement of the Saudi Arabia side, whose fans were clearly ecstatic inside the stadium. "We made the mistake of speeding up and going route one, instead of moving the ball from side to side. We knew that they would play a high line and we got caught up in that a bit," he said.

Argentina had several goals ruled out for offside in the opening half. The calls were tight, but Messi did not question the calls. "I couldn't tell from the images, but if they ruled them out then it's because they were no doubt offside. There's no excuse," he said.

Argentina will fight for survival against Mexico on Saturday, before facing Poland next Wednesday. They are currently at the bottom of Group B, but it's still early to rule them out.

Lionel Messi's Argentina slumped to defeat against Saudi Arabia AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV