First, the Saudi national football team gets a manager change just a few months before the World Cup, then it faced a 5-0 drubbing against Russia.
Could it get any worse?
Actually yes, as the team members feared for their lives on a recent plane ride.
This team just can’t catch a break (or a ball heading to the net, apparently).
A new report by local news and The Independent showed that even the unlucky can become luckless, after a recent fire that broke out because of a bird (not a falcon) hitting the engine of the airplane on which the team was.
Scarred but unharmed
Thankfully, the team landed safely– but this scar might leave them traumatized and unready for the upcoming game even though their chances of winning were low, to begin with.
The Guardian points out that near-death experiences can greatly affect the psyche, from reoccurring nightmares to potential anxiety issues and sometimes depression.
Now it is understandable that in this situation life and death weren’t apparent, but with the pressure and a disappointment even within the team itself, no one should be surprised if the Green Falcons have an excuse to poorly perform in the upcoming game.
Not to mention that after that they’ll be pit against Egypt, the region’s favoured, as recent surveys show that although people are rooting for Saudi’s national team, Egypt is expected to win most of its matches if not potentially the World Cup, with its star player Mohamad Salah stepping on the playing field once again, soon enough.
According to a report issued by Reuters, Saudi Arabia appointed Argentinian Edgardo Bauza on Thursday to lead the team at the World Cup in Russia, after negotiations with its Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk broke down.
Many people, nationals or others from around the world, voiced their opinion this week about this change when Saudi lost to the host’s team in the World Cup. One Reddit user pointed out that “This change is likely the reason why the Green Falcons had such a poor performance at the game.” However, government officials are blaming the team.
The Falcons now have a burning desire to prove everyone wrong.
But according to Google, the Saudi team has a 5% chance of winning against Uruguay on June the 20th, with a draw being unlikely at 12% (at the time of writing).