Mexico are set to face their biggest challenge of the 2022 World Cup on Saturday, when confronting Group C rivals Argentina at the Lusail Stadium.
El Tri enters the game with one point after managing a 0-0 draw against Poland that saw goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa heroically save Robert Lewandowski’s penalty to keep round of 16 hopes alive. Argentina currently boasts no points, losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia to land in last place of the Group C standings.
But before diving into the importance of the upcoming match , Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano highlighted the essence of the World Cup: playing against some of the world’s greatest figures.
:We are going to face a great rival, they have the best in the world and with great players, who for me is Messi,” said the Napoli figure.
“They all play for big clubs, and I think they still have a responsibility to come out with everything. I love playing against the best. Messi is that for me. It is a special moment, seeing him face to face and playing against him is something very nice.”
It’s been 11 years since the two nations last came together in a World Cup setting. Argentina triumphed 3-1 in the round of 16 match of the 2010 tournament, eliminated Mexico before going on to lose in the quarter-finals.
Lozano recalled the game, before calling Saturday’s rematch a “great opportunity”.
“The one I keep in mind the most is the one in 2010 in South Africa, it was a great match between the two. Unfortunately Mexico was eliminated, but a great opportunity tomorrow and it is in us. Arabia’s result with Argentina was a very surprising result. I think it was more from Arabia. They played their game and they planned it very well.”
Argentina holds the edge with a 16W-14D-5L record against Mexico. But Gerardo Martino’s side hopes to change the course of history on Saturday.
“I think we have some great footballers, a lot of quality, we are preparing the game very well, we are up against a great rival. We always have hope and the opportunity to advance and it only remains up to us. I think we’re on the right track, we have the opportunity tomorrow and the coach is going to tell us how to plan it well,” stated Lozano.
After facing Argentina, Mexico will conclude the group stage against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, November 30.