Super Eagles players Sylvanus Okpala and Mutiu Adepoju have heaped praises on the Argentine national team for defying the odds of winning the 2022 World Cup against France, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Argentina won the game 4-2 on penalties after a spectacular game that developed into the much-anticipated confrontation between the 35-year-old maestro Lionel Messi and his France opposite number Kylian Mbappe, which ended 3-3 at the end of extra time.
Speaking with PUNCH Sports Extra, winner of the 1980 Africa Cup Nations, Okpala, said he had tipped Argentina for the title from the start of the tournament.
“Before now, I tipped Argentina to win, because they started badly and showed improvements in every game that they played afterward. It is always difficult to stop a team like that. If not for lack of concentration, they would have wrapped up the game, but after that too, they were good enough to win and luck was on their side eventually. I think they deserved it more than the French team because they played with strategy and that showed till the penalty shootout.”
Adepoju also applauded the attitude of the Albiceleste, who edged the game where they had the advantage.
“The game was very explosive from start to finish and both teams had superb performances. But Argentina made the World Cup theirs with a mindset. It is not easy to allow a two-goal lead to slip away and still manage to keep your character until the last moments of the game.”
The 2022 triumph is Argentina’s third after previously lifting the trophy in 1978 and 1986.