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Fans criticise the player for “faking it” to be a professional footballer and “making zero impact on the field.” Argentina’s star player, 28, was criticised for his subpar play in their World Cup defeat to Saudi Arabia

Football fans online were not impressed by Rodrigo De Paul’s performance during Argentina’s 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their 2022 FIFA World Cup opener on November 22.

Argentina were tipped by many as one of the favorites for the World Cup this time around. The two-time world champions came into the tournament on the back of a 36-match winless run stretching all the way to 2019.

Lionel Scaloni’s side, however, suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia despite opening the scoring through Lionel Messi from the penalty spot. The Albiceleste conceded two goals in the second half with Rodrigo De Paul being one of the poorer players on the pitch.

According to SofaScore, the Atletico Madrid star had a torrid time on the pitch, having lost possession 23 times over the course of 90 minutes. He also had a passing accuracy of just 75% and failed to take a single key race in the game.

Football fans were rightfully unimpressed by De Paul’s performance for Argentina against Saudi Arabia. Some questioned his selection in the starting XI while others believed he was only there to protect Messi during the World Cup.

Here are a few tweets in that regard:

Maybe if de Paul put more focus into football than being Messi’s body guard then he wouldn’t get dominated by Saudi

De Paul when Argentina gets packed in the group stages but Messi returns back home without gettin fouled even once

De Paul pretending to be upset but knows he’s eating good since Messi scored

Now I get why there’s more talk about De Paul being Messi’s bodyguard than his footballing ability. He’s not good.

De Paul thinks he’s playing for Atleti, today.

Just look at De Paul the bodyguard rating 😂😂😂

Rodrigo de Paul is pretending to be a professional footballer

De Paul is only playing coz he’s Messi body guard. Zero contribution on the field of play!

Expected De Paul to be better ngl he really is just on the pitch to be Messi’s bodyguard

De Paul is so ass, stick to being Messi’s bodyguard bruh, football aint your thing

De Paul’s form for Atletico Madrid saw him get picked for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The former Udinese midfielder had scored two goals and provided the same number of assists from 18 outings across all competitions.

De Paul has also been a regular member of the Argentina squad since his full debut back in 2018. The midfielder has amassed 44 caps for his national side and has scored twice along the way. He was part of the Argentine squad which won the 2021 Copa America last year.

Who do Argentina face next at the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Argentina will take on Mexico in their second group stage match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Saturday, November 26 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.

The South American giants will need three points against Mexico to have any chance of progressing through the knockout stages of the tournament.

Saudi Arabia beat Argentina.

Lionel Scaloni’s side will play Poland in their third and final group stage at the FIFA World Cup. The game is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 30 and could be a big game in the context of qualification for the next round.

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