Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard called on his players on Tuesday to ‘make history’ as they face Mexico in their final Group C match in the FIFA World Cup 2022 with a chance to make the Round of 16.
The Frenchman’s rousing half-time team talk in Saudi Arabia’s upset win over Argentina in the opening game went viral on social media.
Renard was egging on Saudi Arabian players as they trailed Argentina 0-1 at half-time following a Lionel Messi penalty. Saudi Arabia eventually bounced back in the second half to register a 2-1 win after Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari scored for the Green Falcons.
However, Renard admitted that such talks do not always have the desired effect.
“I accepted for the communications department to record one minute (at half-time), so this day, I was lucky because it worked,” Renard said at a press conference.
“But I have been coaching for more than 20 years now, and with a lot of humility, I can tell you it was not working all the time, unfortunately!”
Given that his team’s comeback was against one of the world’s greatest ever players in Messi, “there is a big impact, it will stay forever,” Renard said. “At least some people will remember me.”
After beating Argentina, Saudi Arabia lost to Poland 0-2. Now, it needs to beat Mexico on Wednesday and wait for the result of the Poland-Argentina match to know its fate at the Qatar World Cup.
Saudi Arabia last reached the pre-quarterfinals in the 1994 World Cup in the USA.
“For our players, it is a very good generation, but if they want the fans to remember them, they have to make history, otherwise, everybody will forget in 20 or 30 years,” Renard said.