Diego Maradona has defended Lionel Messi after his failed penalty for Argentina against Iceland.
The World Cup Group D opener was level at 1-1 on Saturday afternoon when Messi stepped up to take a spot kick and potentially restore Argentina’s lead.
But part-time film director Hannes Halldorsson in the Iceland net managed to stop the penalty with a strong save to help deny Argentina three points.
Maradona, who won the World Cup in 1986 with Argentina, defended Messi and pointed out that even he made errors from the penalty spot.
‘I missed five penalties in a row and I was still Diego Armando Maradona,’ he told Telesur.
‘The game and the two points lost by the team are not down to his penalty.
‘He showed his face and gave everything he had to give. The “kid” did his duty.
‘Seeing him on the field, he was pretty pissed off. Just like I would have been. It was all him, he always had to shrug two players off and when he did, there was no pass open.’
Maradona also admitted that Argentina are in ‘big trouble’ ahead of their second game against Croatia on Thursday.
He continued: ‘We are closer to losing the coming games. We are in big trouble, but we still believe in God and that we can improve. I hope the lads get better.’