Mendoza: Rolls Royce each for 23 Saudi football players

Still the hottest clubhouse talk is the recent 2-1 victory by lowly Saudi Arabia over powerhouse Argentina in the ongoing World Cup of football in Doha, Qatar.

It was a feat as spectacular as Noah’s completion of his Ark. Unthinkable, indeed, to say the least.

If it were boxing, it was like seeing Manny Pacquiao knock Mike Tyson out in the first round—in Tyson’s prime.

If it were golf, it was like seeing Tony Lascuna beat Tiger Woods in match play—in Woods’ prime.

And, if it were basketball, it was like seeing the present Terrafirma team defeat the present Golden State Warriors crew.

Saudi Arabia’s achievement was like a fantasy, a film crafted from fact to fiction.

How can the second-lowest ranked squad among 34 teams entered in Qatar like Saudi Arabia beat the tournament’s No. 3?

And look. Didn’t Argentina assemble a 36-game winning run before it battled Saudi Arabia? Isn’t that something out of the ordinary? Truly extraordinary?

And so, wouldn’t it be insanely crazy to even think that Argentina would lose its 37th assignment—to Saudi Arabia at that, seeded a mere 51st in the world?

C’mon, are you kidding me? Something’s gone wrong with the universe.

But then, it happened. Saudi Arabia won, beating Argentina. Suddenly, this production was something the world will keep talking about for years and years to come.

And what followed next was even more surreal. Eerie even.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia immediately declared a national holiday to celebrate the unbelievable.

And look at this.

Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledged to give each Saudi Arabian player a Rolls Royce Phantom each.

Do you know how much a Phantom model would cost?

“Only” 363,000 pounds (roughly US$437,596.50, or 24,838,852.52 in Philippine pesos). There are usually 23 players in one football (soccer) team, with 11 of them fielded in a game.

Saudi team manager Herve Renard has denied the Rolls Royce story, but nobody’s taking him seriously.

If ever, Prince Salman will shell out a total of 9.4 million pounds (US$11,328,165.60, or 642,952,694.96 in Philippine peso) for the 23 players’ cars. Chicken feed. Prince Salman’s net worth is US$8 billion.

As always, history is expensive.