1,000 to 1 were the odds given to the Saudi soccer team to win, particularly against the powerhouse team from Argentina led by superstar Lionel Messi. The victory on Tuesday by the Saudi team over Argentina is being described as “one that ranks as one of the greatest shocks in the tournament’s 92-year history…unlike the World Cup’s traditional powers, it does not call on stars from major leagues of Western Europe to join its squad. Its players are drawn instead from the country’s lightly regarded, but well-supported, domestic league.” Rory Smith, The New York Times, Nov. 22, 2022.
I made these images in 1983 of Bedu boys of the Al Amrah clan of the Al Murrah tribe playing in the desert in Al-Ahsa, the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.
The spirit I saw among these young people in the desert in the 1980s was once again shown in the skill and desire of the Saudi players who defeated Argentina a powerhouse of a soccer team at the Lusail stadium, in Qatar this week.
Images like these help build a bridge from modernity to the roots of a culture.