Lautaro Martinez has labeled Argentina’s group stage match against Mexico on Saturday as a "final" following their negative result against Saudi Arabia.
The Conmebol side currently sits in last place of the Group C standings, after falling 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in their inaugural 2022 World Cup match. Argentina needs a positive result against Mexico to avoid being eliminated from round of 16 contention.
"Tomorrow will be the match for us, a final because we have to win. We have to win, because it is an important match for our future," said the player. "Not only the hierarchy but what we have inside. I think that will have to come out tomorrow because we have it and because it is going to be fundamental for the game."
Martinez continued to lament the misuse of VAR during Argentina’s first game, before insisting the team has turned the page, and is now ready and prepared to face Mexico.
"Regarding the VAR, it is surprising that these types of errors continue to be made. He was left behind, we know about Mexico, we analyzed, these days we saw a lot of material about how they defend and how they attack," he concluded.
Mexico head into Saturday’s match with one point, after drawing 0-0 against Poland. Guillermo Ochoa heroically stopped Robert Lewandowski’s penalty to maintain El Tri’s World Cup hopes alive in Group C. But Mexico will fight for a positive result to avoid depending on Iran and Poland to qualify to the Round of 16.
Beyond the pitch, tensions are escalating between fans of Argentina and Mexico as the big game approaches. Fights have broken out throughout Qatar, but Martinez explained it's part of the 'folklore' of the tournament.
"In no way [do the fights affect us], because that folklore is what the fan carries inside, we will play our game and not much else," he said.