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FIFA World Cup 2022: Australia v Argentina | Socceroos

Former Socceroos captain Paul Wade did not hesitate when asked if Australia could take down Argentina on Sunday morning (AEDT), declaring “dead right”.

As the Socceroos zero in on their round-of-16 clash with the South American powerhouse at the FIFA World Cup, flickering in Wade’s mind are the many huge upsets that have defined this edition of the tournament.

Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina, Japan beat Germany and Spain, Morocco overcame Belgium and, of course, Australia stunned Denmark.

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The raft of massive upsets has fuelled Wade’s optimism ahead of the Socceroos’ match against Lionel Messi’s Argentina — a clash set to pit the team ranked 38th in the world against the nation ranked third.

“When you look at all the stats at the moment, (and) Iran beating Wales and Japan beating Germany … there are so many different scenarios,” Wade said on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.

“And that’s what we like about football in any code. It’s eight yards wide, eight feet high and it’s 11 versus 11.

“I remember that (England football great) Gary Lineker … he said, ‘Football is a simple sport. It’s 22 players running around after a ball, and at the end, Germany always win’. Well, you know what? Not anymore, not anymore.”

Not only does Argentina’s squad value dwarf that of Australia by $919.3 million, several of the nation’s players are worth more than the 26 Socceroos combined.

The Argentine player with the highest market value is Lautaro Martinez, who’s worth $116 million, while the legendary Messi has a market value of $76.5 million.

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The Socceroos’ total squad value is only $59.3 million.

“Before this competition started I said, if we get out of the group stage, based on what everyone’s saying, based on the number of players playing at the lower levels, we should be given the World Cup,” Wade said.

“I would give these boys the World Cup. They have exceeded all expectations.

“I’m sure they are quite, well, not surprised, but, ‘Wow, we did it, boys. We really did it’.

“The proof of that is that (Socceroos coach) Graham Arnold said he didn’t get any sleep for a long, long time. He just wanted to bring a victory to the fans back home. And he’s got two!”

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