Cristian Romero has been heavily criticised for his performance in Argentina’s shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Argentina went into the World Cup as one of the favourites but their campaign off to the worst possible start as they were turned over by Saudi Arabia, who are ranked 51st in the world by FIFA.
Lionel Scalonni’s side dominated proceedings in the first-half as Lionel Messi gave them the lead from the penalty spot and they subsequently had three goals ruled out for offside.
However, it was the Saudis who started the second half on the front foot and caught their opponents flat-footed, turning the game around with a quickfire double.
Romero was at fault for Saleh Alshehri’s equaliser as he failed to deal with a long ball and was subsequently unable to block the striker’s low shot into the bottom corner.
Scaloni decided to withdraw the Tottenham man just before the hour mark and replace him with Lisandro Martinez.
Argentinean publication Ole have not held back in their criticism of the centre-back, suggesting that he looked unfit.
The publication wrote about Romero: “His worst game in the national team. To the point that Scaloni took him out after 13′ of the second half, for Lisandro Martínez. He paid in the goal of Al-Shehri’s equaliser. And he was vulnerable as rarely. It was noticed that it didn’t arrive well physically.”
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It was evident that Romero was rushed back too soon for this game as he was clearly not 100 per cent fit. Based on his lack of sharpness, it seemed like he had not even had a couple of training sessions before taking to the field.
The decision has backfired for Argentina, who now find themselves in a massive pickle, with the game against Mexico on Sunday now a must-win for Scalonni’s men.
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