Lionel Messi: Losing to Saudi Arabia helped us

 Lionel Messi of Argentina attends the post match press conference after the 3-0 win during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semi final match between Argentina and Croatia at Lusail Stadium on December 13, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.
(Image credit: Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Lionel Messi believes that defeat to Saudi Arabia in Argentina's opening group game may have helped the Albiceleste reach the World Cup final.

Argentina suffered a shock 2-1 loss in their first game of the tournament, but responded by beating Mexico and Poland to win Group C, then overcoming Australia and the Netherlands in the knockout stage.

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Chris Flanagan
Senior Staff Writer

Chris joined FourFourTwo in 2015 and has reported from more than 20 countries, in places as varied as Ivory Coast and the Arctic Circle. He's interviewed Pele, Zlatan and Santa Claus (it's a long story), as well as covering the World Cup, AFCON and the Clasico. He previously spent 10 years as a newspaper journalist, and completed the 92 in 2017.