Argentina’s long, storied history in World Cup Football makes the upset among the biggest in FIFA history
The first major match upset of the 2022 World Cup saw Saudi Arabia beat legendary Argentina 2-1 on Monday. Nearly 90,000 Saudis made the trip to bordering Qatar to cheer on their team to Victory. After the victory, His Royal Highness King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud declared a public holiday following the World Cup victory over Argentina!
Football has been a big sport in the oil-rich Kingdom since the early 1950s. The country would hold provincial-wide tournaments to crown the winner of the King’s Cup. Until the formation of an official professional football league in 1957 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the King’s Cup was the big prize and draw for the country’s top footballers.
The league began with eight teams, and throughout the years, additional leagues were created throughout the Kingdom, which led to several mergers that spawned the Saudi Arabia Premier League in 1981. With the Kingdom being home to a high-performing league, it was enough to meet the FIFA world cup qualifications.
The Saudi Premier League has flourished to 16 professional clubs throughout the decades, and several of its players have played in the English Premier League and other top-tier competitions. With several additional mergers since 1981, the Saudi Premier league flies under the banner of “The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques League Cup.”
The World Cup has always been a time for people to display national pride and celebrate every goal scored by their team, but to appreciate that their team is playing on the world’s biggest stage. The Victory by the Saudi Green Falcons is even more impressive, considering their team is composed entirely of Saudi-born nationals. The World Cup is full of surprises and upsets, but it is still too early to determine if the Green Falcon’s historic Victory against Argentina will be the biggest.
Image sourced from https://twitter.com/Shahriyar_Abid