King Salman has announced a public holiday in Saudi Arabia following the country’s historic victory over Argentina at the World Cup on Tuesday.
The Green Falcons pulled off one of the biggest upsets in football history when they came from behind to beat Lionel Messi and co.
Messi put the Albiceleste ahead from the penalty spot but superb second-half goals from Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari secured a shocking 2-1 victory in Qatar.
They were a star-studded Argentine side, considered by many to be the pre-tournament favourites, while Saudi Arabia are ranked 51st in the world.
In response to the result, King Salman of Saudi Arabia announced that all employees and students in the Middle Eastern country would have Wednesday off.
A statement from the King reads: “It is ordained that tomorrow, Wednesday, be a public holiday for all employees in all sectors of the state and private sector, and for students and students at all levels of teaching.
“The directive is in line with what was proposed by His Highness on the occasion of the victory of the Saudi national team over the Argentinian national team in the World Cup.”
The Saudi players were filmed going wild in the locker room after the game and the celebrations are set to continue at home in the Gulf state.
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Saudi Arabia boss Hervé Renard, who managed Cambridge United in 2004, said the “stars were aligned” for his side in Qatar.
“They came here without losing in 36 games, they are South American champions, they have amazing players but that’s football, sometimes completely crazy things can happen,” Renard said after the match.
“Tactically we weren’t good in the first half. If we had conceded a second goal I think the game was over and at half time I wasn’t happy because our pressure and determination weren’t good.
“But today all the stars in the sky aligned for us. Anything can happen in football – sometimes your opponent is not at his best. Imagine Lionel Messi playing against Saudi Arabia, you know the motivation is not like playing against Brazil, that’s normal.
“We made history that will remain in Saudi football forever, but we still have to look to the future – we still have two games which are very difficult for us.
“With three games you can win the first game and not qualify, and you can lose the first game and be world champions with Argentina. It’s possible.”
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