Incredible footage of a Herve Renard team-talk when Saudi Arabia were 1-0 down in World Cup qualifying has emerged online after their dramatic 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 cancelled out Lionel Messi’s opener from 12 yards.
After the full-time whistle, Saudi midfielder Abdulelah Al-Malki said Herve Renard’s half-time team talk inspired them to “eat grass” as they trailed at the break.
“We have a crazy coach(Herve Renard),” he told Alkass Sports. “He motivated us during half-time, telling us stuff that made us want to eat the grass.”
He added: “Before the game, in the pre-game talk with the coach, I swear to God I was crying. He motivated us to the extent that we couldn’t wait for the game to begin.”
Herve Renard, who was once sacked by then-League Two side Cambridge after picking up just three wins in 21 games, was the talk of social media after Saudi Arabia’s famous win at the Lusail Stadium.
His influence on this team is nothing short of remarkable and soon, a video emerged of a team-talk when Saudi were 1-0 down against Vietnam last year in World Cup Asian qualifying.
Just like their World Cup opener against overwhelming favourites Argentina, he needed to motivate and inspire after their opponents opened the scoring early on.
“Your talent will make the difference!” he screams. “Keep cool and calm. We still have 45 minutes left!”
Check out the dressing room footage below.
— Benjamin Hajji (@BenjaHajji) November 22, 2022
Saudi Arabia went on to win that match 3-1 thanks to goals from Saleh Al-Shehri, Yasser Alshahrani and Salem Aldawsari, who scored Tuesday’s magnificent winner.
After the full-time whistle against Argentina, Renard said the stars were aligned after Saudi managed to pull off what many believed impossible ahead of kick-off.
“All the stars in the sky were aligned for us, but don’t forget Argentina are still a fantastic team,” he told reporters.
“This is football, sometimes totally crazy things can happen. (We can) just have a good celebration during 20 minutes and that’s all, there are still two more games.”
“When you come to the World Cup, you need to believe in yourself, anything can happen in football.”
The 54-year-old, who has previously led Zambia and Ivory Coast to Africa Cup of Nations wins, added: “Sometimes the opposition does not have the best motivation, it’s normal, it also happened to us when playing lower teams.
“Some people don’t understand but you can imagine that when you’re playing against Saudi Arabia, the motivation is not the same as playing against Brazil.”
Group C leaders Saudi Arabia will face Poland on Saturday afternoon before coming up against a talented Mexico side next Wednesday at the 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium.