Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard has strenuously denied claims that his players had been promised a Rolls-Royce Phantom each by the ruling royal family after their heroic World Cup victory over Argentina.
It had been reported by various publications across the globe this week that the full 26-strong squad would be handed keys to a fleet of RM6 Million Rolls-Royce - with starting prices of around £363,000 - by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“There is nothing true about this,” said Renard. “We have a very serious federation and ministry of sport and it is not the time to get something at this moment.
“We only have played one game, have two very important [group stage] games and we are hoping for some more.
"I don’t know if you remember the press conference before Argentina. I said the Argentina game is one of the three important games we have to play. The only good thing at the end of this group stage is to finish No 1 or No 2.”
A public holiday had already been announced after their shock 2-1 upset on Tuesday.
Saleh al-Shehri, Saudi Arabia’s forward who scored the first goal in the win against Argentina, had earlier said of the Rolls-Royce claim: “It’s not true. We are here to serve our country and do our best. That is the rewards.”
Reports that the Saudi team would receive the luxury car seem to have first surfaced from a tweet posted this week by a Pakistani dentist, which received hundreds of likes.
“BREAKING: MBS has announced a Rolls Royce Phantom to each team member having defeated ARG,” Awab Alvi wrote on Twitter.
“SaudiArabia serves up the first major upset of the #FIFAWorldCup”.
At the 1994 World Cup, Saeed Al-Owairan was gifted a Rolls-Royce after scoring a memorable goal for debutants Saudi Arabia against Belgium, as they reached the last 16 for the first time.
Ahead of Saudi Arabia’s match against Poland - with a victory seeing them through to the knockout stages for only the second time - Renard said that the squad had remained grounded.
“There is no limit,” he said. “In life, we always have to believe in ourselves and in football it is the same. Nothing has changed.
"We are still the lowest team of this group in terms of Fifa rankings, in terms of experience, and are not a favourite for this World Cup."
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