The claim: Saudi Arabia’s players will each get a Rolls-Royce for their World Cup win over Argentina
"Saudi team gets $460K Rolls Royces for upset win," reads a Nov. 25 Instagram post liked more than 4,000 times in five days. "Saudi Arabia's players will each receive a Rolls Royce Phantom for their historic World Cup upset over Argentina, courtesy of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman."
But the claim is false. The team’s head coach and one of its players said this claim isn’t true, and there is no evidence to support it.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment.
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'Nothing true' about Rolls-Royce rumor, head coach says
The claim that players would get Rolls-Royces began circulating on social media shortly after the team's victory and was repeated without evidence over the next few days. British tabloids and other outlets gave the idea additional prominence by publishing articles about the players getting cars.
There are no credible reports, though, that the country's players were given Rolls-Royce Phantoms, and the team says it never happened.
“It’s not true,” Alshehri, who scored the first of his team's two goals in the match against Argentina, said at a Nov. 25 press conference. "We are here to serve our country and do the best, so that’s our biggest achievement."
Saudi coach Hervé Renard refuted the claim as well, saying "there is nothing true about this comment."
"It is not time to get something at this moment," Renard said. "We only won one game. We still have to get very important games, and we are hoping some more."
Saudi Arabia's two goals happened in a five-minute span early in the second half and gave them a 2-1 lead that Argentina couldn't overcome.
After the victory, Saudi Arabia, which hasn't won a World Cup game since 1998, declared a national holiday for the day after the match, according to the New York Times.
PolitiFact also debunked the claim.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Saudi Arabia’s World Cup players will each get a Rolls-Royce for their win over Argentina. There are no credible reports that support the claim. Alshehri, a player on the team, and Renard, the team’s head coach, have both said the claim isn’t true.
Our fact-check sources:
USA TODAY, Nov. 22, World Cup stunner: Saudi Arabia beats Messi's Argentina 2-1
Ahmed, Nov. 25, Tweet
Ahmed, Nov. 25, Tweet
Car and Driver, accessed Nov. 30, 2023 Rolls-Royce Phantom
SI Soccer, Nov. 22, Tweet
The New York Times, Nov. 22, Even the Saudi Team Is Stunned After Victory Over Argentina
PolitiFact, Nov. 29, Saudi coach, striker say no Rolls-Royces for beating Argentina
Newsweek, Nov. 28, Fact Check: Were Saudi Players Promised Rolls-Royces For World Cup Win?
Okezie J. Atani, Nov. 22, Tweet
Front Office Sports, Nov. 25, Tweet
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: No, Saudi players didn't get Rolls-Royce for World Cup win