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Seeking divine intervention! Fans pray Maradona's spirit guides Argentina to win over Mexico at World Cup 2022

Lionel Messi's Argentina needs to win Saturday's clash against Mexico after losing their Qatar World Cup 2022 opener 1-2 against Saudi Arabia earlier this week. And on legendary Argentinian Diego Maradona's 2nd death anniversary, fans pray for some divine intervention for the clash at Lusail Stadium.

football Fans pray Diego Maradona spirit guides Lionel messi Argentina to win over Mexico at Qatar World Cup 2022 snt
First Published Nov 25, 2022, 10:01 PM IST

On November 25, 2020, legendary Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona breathed his last, leaving fans of the iconic player numb worldwide. On his second death anniversary, tributes poured in across social media platforms, with fans reminiscing about brighter days as Argentina recover from their shocking 1-2 loss to Saudi Arabia in their Qatar World Cup 2022 opener earlier this week.

Also read: Maradona's son devastated by Argentina's World Cup 2022 loss to Saudi Arabia; takes a jibe at Messi

Maradona, regarded as one of the best football players in history, passed away at 60, after a protracted battle with drug and alcohol misuse. Even after his death, Maradona is still very much on Argentina supporters' minds. Scores still wear his jersey, shout about his "Hand of God" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals, and vehemently argue over whether Lionel Messi parallels are even fair.

Messi took to Instagram to post a photograph of Maradona on his story, paying tribute to the Argentinian legend. Some believe the 35-year-old icon is perhaps channelling the spirit of the legend ahead of their must-win game against Mexico in their Group C clash on Saturday.

On Friday, former teammates of Maradona gathered at the World Cup in Qatar to pay tribute to the icon on his 2nd death anniversary. Former teammates of Diego Maradona visited FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the CONMEBOL Tree of Dreams in central Doha, a location honouring South American soccer. They each described Maradona's magnificence on and off the field.

Also read: Argentina's Messi and Di Maria send strong message after shock defeat against Saudi Arabia in World Cup 2022

"We don't only need to pay tribute but to celebrate Diego," Infantino said. "I would like there to be a day to celebrate Diego Armando Maradona at every World Cup in the future."

It is impossible to compare Maradona to Messi, who became the first Argentine to score at four different World Cups with his goal in the 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia, according to Richard Giusti, who played alongside Maradona at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups.

football Fans pray Diego Maradona spirit guides Lionel messi Argentina to win over Mexico at Qatar World Cup 2022 snt

"We cannot compare them. We cannot say whether one is better than the other," Giusti said. "They are different. They are both geniuses. And Argentinian. We have to enjoy it."

In the defeat of Saudi Arabia, Messi, who may be playing in his final World Cup at age 35, converted a penalty kick. The skipper of Argentina referred to it as a significant setback and promised that his team would rebound in time for their Group C match against Mexico on Saturday.

Also read: Brazilians rejoice, meme fest explodes after Argentina lose Qatar World Cup 2022 opener against Saudi Arabia

According to Jorge Burruchaga, who was the winner of the 1986 World Cup final, Argentina had no room for error in their upcoming games. “Hopefully tomorrow Leo (Messi) will have the game that everyone wants,” he told Reuters. “And the tribute we are paying to Diego today, that’s the least we can do for a soccer genius, for someone who touched so many people.”

Here's a look at what some of the other fans of the Messi-led Argentina had to say ahead of the team's crucial clash against Mexico:

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