Incredible footage of a Hervé Renard team chat as Saudi Arabia trailed 1-0 in World Cup qualifiers has emerged online after their spectacular comeback against Argentina.
The Green Falcons pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history on Tuesday as goals from Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari canceled out Lionel Messi’s opener from 12 yards out.
After the full-time whistle, Saudi midfielder Abdulelah Al-Malki said Renard’s half-time team talk inspired them to ‘eat grass’ as they hung out at the break.
“We have a crazy coach,” he told Alkass Sports. “He kept us going during half-time, telling us stuff that made us want to eat the weed.”
He added: “Before the game, during the pre-game chat with the coach, I swear to God I was crying. He motivated us to the point that we couldn’t wait for the game to start.”
Renard, who was already sacked by Cambridge, then in Ligue 2, after winning just three in 21 games, was talked about on social media after Saudi Arabia’s famous win at Lusail Stadium.
His influence on this team is nothing short of remarkable and soon a video emerged of a team chat when Saudi Arabia were beaten 1-0 by Vietnam last year in the Asian World Cup qualifier.
Much like their World Cup opener against overwhelming favorites Argentina, it needed to motivate and inspire after their opponents opened the scoring early on.
“Your talent will make the difference!” he shouts. “Keep cool and calm. We still have 45 minutes left!
Check out the locker room images below.
After the full-time whistle against Argentina, Renard said the stars were aligned after Saudi Arabia managed to achieve what many believed was impossible before kick-off.
“All the stars in the sky were aligned for us, but don’t forget that Argentina are still a fantastic team,” he told reporters.
“It’s football, sometimes totally crazy things can happen. (We can) have a good party for 20 minutes and that’s it, there are still two games left.
“When you come to the World Cup, you have to believe in yourself, anything can happen in football.”
The 54-year-old, who previously led Zambia and Ivory Coast to Africa Cup of Nations victories, added: “Sometimes the opposition don’t have the best motivation, that’s normal. , it also happened to us when we played against inferior teams.
“Some people don’t understand but you can imagine when you play against Saudi Arabia the motivation is not the same as against Brazil.”
Group C leaders Saudi Arabia take on Poland on Saturday afternoon before taking on a talented Mexican side next Wednesday at the 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium.
Can they qualify for the knockout stage?
Let us know in the comments.