Argentina has won the World Cup twice – in 1978 and 1986 – but at Qatar 2022, La Albiceleste wrote its name into the history books in an altogether different way.
According to sports data group Gracenote, Argentina’s 2-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia in their Group C match is the biggest upset in World Cup history.
Led by Lionel Messi, ranked third in the world, unbeaten for three years and among the favorites to win the 2022 tournament, many had expected Argentina to sweep aside Saudi Arabia with 48 places separating the two teams in the world rankings.
All the pre-match talk focused on Messi, one of the world’s greatest-ever players, who is likely playing his last World Cup.
The Argentina captain scored an early penalty to put his side in the lead, but two second-half goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari turned the game on its head.
Al-Dawsari’s incredible winner from distance – and subsequent acrobatic celebration – will become one of the defining moments of this World Cup.
According to Gracenote, the previous most surprising World Cup win was USA’s victory against England in 1950, in which the American team had a 9.5% chance of victory.
But Saudi Arabia’s chance of victory on Tuesday was estimated at 8.7%, which means the Green Falcons take over the number one spot.
Gracenote said it uses the company’s “proprietary football ranking system to identify the most shocking upsets over the course of the World Cup’s storied 92 years.”
Read about more of the greatest upsets in tournament history here.