JOHANNESBURG – Diego Maradona says Lionel Messi’s second-half penalty miss was not the reason Argentina failed to defeat Iceland at the World Cup on Saturday.
Messi saw his spot-kick saved by goalkeeper Hannes Por Halldorsson after Alfred Finnbogason had cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s 19th minute opener.
“I don’t blame the players,” Maradona told Venezuelan television channel Telesur.
Diego Maradona: “I missed five penalties in a row and I was still Diego Armando Maradona. The game and the two points lost by the team are not down to Messi’s penalty. He showed his face and gave everything he had to give. He did his duty.” pic.twitter.com/uIMDkhp8HH
— Barca Universal (@BarcaUniversal) June 18, 2018
“I could blame the lack of work rate. But I can’t blame the players, much less Messi, who gave it all he had.
“I missed five penalties on the spin and I was still Diego Armando Maradona. I don’t think that they dropped two points because Messi missed a penalty.”
Argentina takes on Croatia on Thursday before their final group game against Nigeria next week.
The day Iceland froze Messi. ❄️ pic.twitter.com/KSWxxOtcar
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 16, 2018